Our Ambassador Emily a Wellness Entrepreneur & qualified Health Coach knows that we’re busier and more addicted than ever before and grabbing the next cup of caffeine is one of the easiest quick fixes to increase our energy.
But at what cost?
And for how long?
So below are some other wonderful ways (all starting with S), that Emily shares with us about how we can increase our focus and energy - in a long-term, and positive way to optimise our wellbeing at the same time.
- Standing up while working can double your productivity! We’re spending more time sitting than ever before while setting ourselves the highest personal expectations to be more productive, which doesn’t quite add up. With sitting intervals (15 mins per hour), standing while working can increase our focus, attention, and ability to memorise information. And now you can purchase treadmill desks to keep you fit at the same time, it’s a win-win.
- Exercise has always been known to make us feel better. It increases our endorphins and gives us that happy high, which can be addictive!. Exercise also increases the available oxygen concentration running to our brain which in turn increases our energy, concentration, and thus motivation as it can limit our tendency to fall victim to distractions. Exercise is a natural way to challenge our self-discipline (with our bodies), that can be translated into our work life. Pick your favourites, try new forms of exercise and incorporate hand-eye coordination exercises which have a significant effect on our brain power.
- The power of smell is incredible and regularly overlooked. We know that scents trigger memories but they also have a huge impact on our brain and how it works, which we can use to increase our productivity and focus! Essentially, smells that you breathe in affect your limbic system, which governs emotional processing, motivation, fear, and pleasure, including your hippocampus and amygdala, all three of which impact learning and memory. Top scents for focus and memory include ;
- Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon, Lavender, and cedarwood. My favourite on-the-go aromatherapy products to help keep me focused are those by SCENTERED. Life-changers!
- Drink water! Yep, you may have heard his before but it’s paramount. Dehydration affects our mental performance. Our brains depend on sufficient hydration to work at an optimum level and when brain cells lose too much water their efficiency is greatly reduced. There are many studies that have shown dehydration to result in worse results in focus and attention-related problem-solving tasks. Drink up!
- Some of us work wonderfully with music, and others not. There is a huge connection between sound and how our minds work; to what capacity we can learn, retain and recall information, at the speed at which we do so. This goes for all areas of our life. There is also science-backed information about what the BEST type of music for this is, and the answer is natural music - not synthetic. Synthetic music, with lyrics, can onset our emotions and cause distractions, while natural sounds increase our focus and cognitive functioning. The best form of natural music is Binaural Beats, imaginary beats your brain makes up when it is presented with two different frequencies in each ear.
For example, if you hear 410hz in one ear and 400hz in the other, your brain will actually create the 10hz to make up the difference.
When it does so, the rest of your brain syncs up with that frequency.
To use binaural beats for concentration, you need to listen to a track that presents your brain with a difference of 8hz-12hz.
By doing so, your brain will ease into the Alpha state and you’ll feel focused and ready to tackle your work.
- Deep down we all know how important sleep is for our performance. Yet, we all too often look for ways to switch sleep to get more work done. Research shows that as soon as we reduce our sleep to less than 8 hours our productivity is reduced. But we also have to acknowledge the quality of our sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to being less motivated, more emotional and worse at making decisions. All round, less focused! Studies found that people who got a poor night’s sleep tired out 11% faster and the more irregular their sleep schedule, the worse their cognitive abilities declines during the week. Sleep deprivation costs the US $411 billion per year and accounts for $1 million lost work days! Let’s all get our heads around a good nights sleep!
- Our Nutrition is a paramount component to increasing focus, brain power, and energy. The gut is our second brain and what we eat affects our whole life. Busy lifestyles and being short on time influences our eating habits, but making small changes every day can make all the difference. What’s great is that there are specific foods that will make you feel an almost immediate change in your brain power and focus. Foods alter your blood sugars, blood flow, oxygen flow to the brain, hormone levels and regulate all body processes - pretty impressive, eh. Here are some key foods to add to your diet to up your focus and productivity;
- Flax seeds
- Super boosters like - Matcha, Ginseng, Ashwagandha, and Guarana.