Mental Health

4 Ways To Boost Your Focus And Attention

Lack of attention affects cognition, emotional functioning and productivity. Here are 4 research backed ways to strengthen your cognitive control and bring back your focus.

By D Tejaswi
10 Jun 2022

“Over 60 percent participants (female 69.8 %, male 56.8 %) reported that they would get distracted involuntarily even if they wanted to pay attention to a task,” finds a survey questionnaire conducted during the 2015 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. The questionnaire also tried to understand what kind of stimuli do people react more to, whether is it light, sound, or smell. More than half of the participants believed that sound played a greater role in distraction as compared to light and smell.


Attention is a gate through which sensory information enters our conscious experience, notes Translational Psychiatry, 2019. Lack of attention causes impairments in executive functions, learning and memory, and processing speed. As a result, you are likely to face poor outcomes and productivity in any task you undertake.


Here are 4 quick research- backed ways you can try to boost your attention and focus:


1. Do a 10-minute mindfulness meditation

Practicing mindfulness meditation for a short period of 10 minutes can improve your attention and performance. The study published in Frontiers in Human Neurosciene, 2018 confirms that the practice reaps benefit for any individual who is merely initiating the practice and the results can be felt even after a single brief session. Instructions to mindfulness meditation looks like:


  • Please set the intention to observe your experience with an accepting attitude.
  • Please notice and begin to follow the natural and spontaneous movement of the breath, not trying to change it in any way
  • Stay open and curious about your experience.


If you feel you are not able to pay attention because of the stress you are experiencing, you can start with box breathing, a technique that helps you to de-stress in 4 minutes.


2. Listen to binaural beats

As the name implies, binaural is two beats running at two slightly different frequencies. When you listen to them at the same time, your brain creates a mild illusion helping you to improve attention. While the neural mechanisms underlying this illusion are still unclear, according to Psychological Research, 2017 the beat stimulation significantly affects the functional brain connectivity and ongoing cognitive processing. “Low-frequency binaural beats are associated with mental relaxation and high frequency beats with alertness and attentional concentration,” notes the paper. There are several binaural beats available on YouTube, Spotify and other channels. Check them out.


Related Story: How Music Can Heal Your Mind, Body And Soul?


3. Go for moderate or intense level of exercise

You already know other benefits of exercise!. Here’s more. When you do a moderate intense exercise, you engage your executive part of the brain. The executive part of the brain is responsible for activities such as organising, planning, understanding different points of view, regulating emotions and others. “Sadness is a significant precursor of mind wandering. Moderate levels of exercise regulates the mood for better thereby helping a goal-directed, sustained attention,” notes Frontiers in Psychology, 2020. Exercise controls attention lapses and controls fluctuations in your thought process.


4. Expose yourselves to nature

Nature improves attention. Frontiers in Psychology, 2020 says that exposure to nature promotes a state of cognitive restoration and well-being. It allows you to rest and recover from fatigue. But in case you find it hard to look for nature in built-up urban environments, you can use digital nature interventions such as looking at nature-inspired 3D videos or wallpapers to feel in a similar way and improve your attention levels,” notes the paper.




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