I Have Trouble Concentrating: Possible Causes And Solutions

I find it difficult to concentrate

Lack of concentration has become a serious problem in recent decades. Whether at work, studying or at leisure, many people complain and ask themselves: “Why do I have trouble concentrating?”.

Despite efforts to focus attention, it seems that the problem persists and, when it has become chronic, it turns out to be a source of real interference in the person’s well-being.

Below we will see reasons why this problem occurs, factors that prevent us from concentrating and some tips to change the situation.

“I have trouble concentrating”: a very common problem

Concentrating involves focusing our attention, consciously and intentionally, on a specific goal for a period of time. Good concentration implies having a good ability to block distracting elements from the environment, having a good ability to put all cognitive resources into the task at hand, and prevent our mind from making us lose track of what we have to do.

Concentration is necessary for many everyday activities. Whether it is driving, playing a sport, reading a book, meditating, preparing food or listening to a friend who needs support, concentration is an aspect that we must put into practice to be able to perform these activities correctly. Otherwise, it may happen that we do not understand what we are reading, that we add salt to our coffee, or that our friend scolds us because we do not listen to him, to give just a few examples.

Of course It is normal not to always have the same degree of concentration. There are days when we are more attentive to what we have to do and other days when we are more dispersed. However, when our ability to concentrate is chronically low, for whatever reason, we have enough reason to worry. Not being able to pay attention to what we are doing can lead to serious problems in our academic and work success, physical health and social performance, both in the short and long term.

At an academic and work level, not being able to concentrate on studies and at work poses serious problems for learning or maintaining employment, respectively. If we have to study for an exam but we don’t concentrate, our grade will not be very high. As for work, if we do not meticulously do what is asked of us, our boss may not be satisfied with our performance and we may run the risk of being fired.

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In relation to health, Not being properly concentrated translates into a greater risk of suffering accidents of any kind.. For example, if we are driving and not paying enough attention to the road, we may have a serious accident or, if we are in the kitchen, we may not realize that we have a pot on fire because we have overdone the fire. These types of accidents occur every day, with human errors being a very common factor.

Regarding the social sphere, not paying enough attention to what our family, friends and significant others say and do can seriously damage our relationships. We can be considered people who do not care about how others feel, or who simply ignore what they tell us. Nobody wants to have a friend who, when you talk to them, seems like you’re talking to a wall.

Why can concentration problems arise?

There are several reasons that can explain why we do not concentrate. These are the most important ones.

1. Lack of rest

Fatigue is one of the worst enemies of concentration. For our brain to perform optimally, we need to have enjoyed a good rest during the night or, at least, taken a nap at midday.

Many people who suffer from concentration problems suffer from lack of rest. Whether because they suffer from insomnia, sleep too little or have poor quality sleepthe next day they are not in their full faculties, making everything difficult for them.

In fact, chronic fatigue due to not sleeping properly is one of the main factors behind accidents and human errors.

2. Stress

Chronic stress becomes a factor that harms our physical and mental health. This discomfort translates into cognitive difficulties, one of them being lack of concentration. The greater the stress, the more difficult it is to try to calm the mind and focus on what needs to be done.

3. Work overload

We live in a society in which the philosophy of multitasking is encouraged, that is, trying to do more than one thing at a time. This, which is interpreted as being highly efficient, can have the opposite effect.

As the saying goes, he who covers a lot, squeezes little, that is, Doing more than one thing at a time can cause us not to pay adequate attention to each task.. The more things we have on the to-do list, the more difficult it is to do them one by one.

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The human being, within his great intelligence, has certain limitations, and one of them is the being able to do several things at the same time. Jumping from one task to another will only waste time, in addition to “spoiling” the brain so that it is only focused for short periods of time.

4. Boredom

Being bored is not something pathological, on the contrary. Boredom is a fundamental human emotion. However, being bored is not something we like, especially if it appears in a situation where we need to pay attention.

Having a job that we don’t like, being in a class with a boring teacher or not receiving enough stimulation from the environment are factors that predispose us to boredom and, consequently, to a reduction in our concentration.

When we are bored, what our brain comes to tell us is that We are in a situation that is interpreted as uninteresting. and, therefore, it would be better to rest or do something else. Thus, it reduces our concentration on the task we should be doing and makes us take refuge in distractions.

Of course, if we have to do an important activity that bores us, it is something that frustrates us, but we still have to make the effort to try to focus our cognitive resources on what they should.

5. Presence of distractors

There are people who are more easily distracted than others and the fact that there are distractors nearby does not help.

Whether it is the cell phone, which has become the main distractor of the last decade, a book that we like to have nearby while we study or work or anything else can cause us to reduce our concentration.

6. Suffer from attention deficit

ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder with/without Hyperactivity) is a disorder that involves serious problems maintaining sustained attention. As it is a disorder, treatment, both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological, is necessary.

Although there is a popular idea that it is an exclusively childhood disorder, it is also present in adulthood. People with this disorder are often described by those close to them as distracted, often in the clouds, or who don’t seem to pay attention. It is not their intention, it is that they suffer from a psychopathological condition.

How to solve it?

As we mentioned, lack of concentration can have a very serious impact on our quality of life, our academic and work performance, and also on our social relationships. That is why It is necessary to find a solution when it has become chronic..

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ADHD, sleep and anxiety disorders have lack of concentration among their symptoms. These disorders require the intervention of a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and doctor when appropriate, so there is no individual way to “solve” them. However, it is possible to work on the rest of the factors mentioned above.

1. Rest well

It is logical to think that if fatigue is one of the factors that prevents us from concentrating, resting well will help us finally regain some concentration.

Go to sleep around 10 p.m. and Trying to sleep between 6 and a half and 8 hours is essential in order to have good cognitive resources. In addition, you should avoid drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea after 6 p.m.

If you suffer from insomnia or a serious sleep disorder, you should go to a professional specialized in these problems, so that you can proceed with the proper intervention.

2. Put on background sounds

Sometimes, what distracts us are acoustic distractions, such as the child from the floor below who won’t stop crying, our parents who have the television on at full volume, or the horn of a driver with certain control problems. the wrath.

These noises are difficult to avoid, since it is not in our power to reduce them, but it is can be used as an acoustic barrier for background sounds. A good resource for this is YouTube, where there are hundreds of videos of forest, rain and storm sounds or classical music that can help us block out intrusive noises in the environment.

3. Meditation and Mindfulness

Several studies have shown that Meditation and Mindfulness improve the ability to concentrate, in addition to reducing levels of stress, anxiety and depression. These activities are ideal if you want to improve concentration, since with meditation you learn to keep intrusive thoughts at bay.

4. Get organized

If we are one of those who try to do everything at once, surprise: it won’t work. The best thing is to organize and prioritize the tasks to be done.

It is better to make a plan, putting each task at a time of day to do and separated by a quarter of an hour of rest.

This way we will focus our cognitive resources on one thing at a time, performing fully at it and without making mistakes.

5. Avoid distractors

As simple as it sounds. Leave your cell phone away, study or work in a space where they will not disturb us, or have a very clean table They are simple actions that can help us a lot in preventing us from losing track of what we are doing.

6. Practice physical exercise

In addition to staying in good physical shape, practicing physical exercise has many benefits for our brain. In addition to keeping us in a good mood thanks to the action of endorphins, sport has been seen to improve our ability to concentrate.

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