Do you find yourself hitting the ‘afternoon slump’ more around 11 am at work? These six ways to boost concentration from Suzi Cinalli at Vital Touch will get you on your way to that deadline
1. Massage your Third Eye
Massaging reflex points when you have a spare moment at your desk can boost memory and dissolve tension. Apply pressure to your Third Eye with your middle finger tip while taking several deep breaths. The Third Eye is a point directly between your eyebrows at the point where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead. Press on this point to 3-4 minutes, repeating two or three times a day.
Light pressure applied to this pressure point will boost memory and concentration and relieve stress, says Cinalli
The Third Eye opens the balancing mechanisms of the pituitary gland, the master gland of the endocrine system. Light pressure applied to this pressure point will boost memory and concentration and relieve stress.
- Keep pumpkin seeds in your desk drawer
Just a handful a day provides the recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Pumpkin seeds also contain omega-3 oils which are great brain food. These oils help build and maintain the myelin sheath that protects our brain nerve fibres allowing messages to flow freely.
If you don’t like pumpkin seeds walnuts are another great omega-3 brain snack you can keep on your desk. Opt for activated nuts – available from Planet Organic – for optimum nutrient absorption.
- Eat more fish for breakfast
Swap cereals for kippers and wholemeal toast and you’ll soon ramp up brain-boosting essential fatty acids (EFAs) and slow release sugars, needed to stay focused all day.
Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss
Oily fish deliver a powerful EFA boost in a form that’s easily absorbed by the body, containing both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, says Cinalli. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Other good options include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines or pilchards. And if you’re serving them on toast, opt for wholegrain granary bread, which has a low-GI and releases glucose into the bloodstream more slowly, a steady blood sugar level will also help keep you mentally alert throughout the day.
- Breathe to boost concentration
Slow your breath down when you need to focus, do a presentation or attend an interview. Deepening your breathing can change brainwave patterns activating theta waves, a brain state associated with enhanced memory. To activate theta waves switch your breathing to your lower abdomen and start breathing from your stomach and consciously slow your breath.
1. Breathe in for the count of 6.
2. Hold it (count to 2)
3. Let the breathe out slowly (count to 9 approx.)
After a few moments you should feel calm and more receptive to new information. To improve memory even further combine deep breathing with mindfulness.
Next time you’re feeling fuzzy-headed log on to PetSugar for an instant reboot. Yes, you read that right, far from being the ultimate timewaster trawling through cute kitten photos could actually help you meet that deadline at work.
students behaved ‘more deliberately and perform tasks with greater time and care,’ after viewing photos of cute kittens and puppies
It sounds unlikely we know but a study by Japanese researchers found that university students behaved ‘more deliberately and perform tasks with greater time and care,’ after viewing photos of cute kittens and puppies. Just make sure your boss knows that cuddly pets are an all-important part of your new work remit.
- Do a lunchtime yoga session.
Aerobic exercise is good for your heart and health but a lunchtime yoga class will help you stay sharp. After the yoga you are better able to focus and process information quickly, more accurately.
In one study, reported in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, researchers gave participants a series of yoga exercises, including isometric contractions of different muscles in the body. The exercises were followed by a meditation session, when participants focused on posture and deep breathing. After the yoga session they were given a series of mental tests. The researchers at the University of Illinois also put the guinea pigs through their paces on a treadmill for the same 20-minute period, keeping their heart rate up between 60 and 70 per cent of the maximum.
Breathing and meditative yoga calms the mind and body, reducing distracting thoughts
They found that people who had been for a 20-minute jog were less able to focus mentally on tasks than they were following a yoga session. Also those who had done yoga could learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively than after performing an aerobic exercise.
Breathing and meditative yoga calms the mind and body, reducing distracting thoughts while you focus on your body, posture or breath. The scientists in the study believed that this could have a beneficial, wider-reaching effect on your day, beyond the yoga class, when you try to focus on tasks requiring concentration.
To book concentration-boosting chair-massage, yoga, nutrition posture or breathing workshops in your workplace contact The Vital Touch
Suzi Cinalli is a massage therapist who co-founded The Vital Touch in 1996 after coming from a background in the music industry and performing arts. Over the previous 20 years, Cinalli has massaged over 10,00 people and has qualifications in Swedish deep massage, chair massage and others. The Vital Touch is a well-being business that focuses on incorporating massages and therapy workshops into the workplace.