If you’re a student or remember your student years, the stress of being in exams week is probably familiar to you. Depending on the difficulty of the exam, you might have severe problems concentrating. Then, not studying makes you feel even more stressed. If you want to cut this endless cycle, you want to achieve two things: find focus and calm yourself a bit.
It is easier said than done, but here’s a hint not everybody knows. There is a type of substance that may help you concentrate. These substances are called nootropics, and some of them are useful to reduce stress in students and busy people. The best part is that you don’t need a prescription because some of these nootropics are found in natural herbs.
But before talking about nootropics, it is essential to identify why people nowadays tend to get distracted and a few techniques you can try to study and focus on your work.
Are you easily distracted? Here’s a likely reason
Nowadays, distractions are more common despite having a genius society. The problem is that we have many things around us, each one demanding our full attention. Trying to cope with everything simultaneously, people have started multitasking, which is probably the best way to make mistakes and pay partial attention to everything around us. We’re getting used to doing stuff and completing our assignments without really focusing on a single thing.
For all of the above, it takes more time to complete assignments. This is by itself counterintuitive because our modern attention span is shorter than ever. Marketing specialists know this and only create short videos and fast content. After one minute, most people have already lost interest and focus. So, getting easily distracted is not a problem only you have. Most of us share this trait, which is usually triggered by our habits and behavior (1).
There’s something positive about it, though. If everything is founded on our habits and behavior, a few changes and recommendations could achieve significant improvements.
Focus techniques you can try today
- Once you start working, a thousand ideas will come to mind. Surfing the internet. Checking on your mobile. A notification sound. Adopt a 10-minute rule when that happens. Wait 10 minutes before any urge or idea pops up, and give in after 10 minutes. That way, you won’t be bothered by unimportant things, and denying your urges won’t backfire into feeling discomfort.
- Plan your days according to priorities. Identify the top priority of the day and spend as much as possible to achieve your most important objectives before giving in to secondary goals and ambitions.
- Avoid scheduling your own jail. Some people create very tight schedules that do not leave any space to breathe. We’re not machines, and this type of schedule is not realistic. Instead of doing that, allocate time to check on your notifications and take time for yourself.
- If you’re working at home, a prevalent mistake is not letting people know you’re trying to focus. When you let people know, it also works as a commitment and may help you focus on your study or work.
- Turn off notifications and if you can, turn off your mobile and other electronics around you. They are not helpful when you’re trying to focus.
- Dedicate a space for your work and study, and create a habit to tell your brain that you’re preparing for a moment of deep focus. You can use aromatherapy, herbs, and infusions, especially if they are nootropics.
Nootropics and herbs to improve your focus and concentration
But maybe you need a little extra to find your focus. Sometimes we feel stressed out and do not know where to start working or studying. Some people enjoy working and focusing, but starting their work is harder than keeping up. If you need that type of incentive, nootropic herbs will help you.
Here’s a selection of herbs we recommend for increased focus and concentration:
Green tea: This herb is a powerful antioxidant, and it has an essential effect on the cardiovascular system. However, we also recommend green tea for students because it has an amino acid called theanine. Theanine in green tea has an intense anti-stress effect and reduces tension and anxiety.
Many of us have experienced severe stress when trying to study for an exam. Feeling this type of pressure often compromises our performance and makes everything worse. Studies show that green tea with lowered caffeine in humans can reduce the anxiety state. It suppresses an excessive stress response by students and helps them concentrate on what they need to do (4,5).
Yerba mate: This herb is also known for its potential as an antioxidant. Additionally, it controls your blood fat levels and improves your digestion. We are recommending Yerba Mate due to its stimulant functions of the central nervous system. It improves the efficiency of the cardiac muscles and the way you use your inner resources and carbohydrates.
A review published in the journal Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology mentions that it inhibits monoamine oxidase enzyme. By doing so, it can work to treat problems of attention and focus, depression, mood and emotional disorders (6).
Leaves of Melissa: This herb is scientifically named Melissa officinalis, and it is a prevalent herb in phytomedicine. It is used to treat a variety of nervous problems, including sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease. People with cognitive problems who use leaves of Melissa have experienced improvements in their memory and other brain functions.
This herb is very appropriate for students and anyone who needs to focus and concentrate on their task because it has two mechanisms of action. On one side, the leaves of Melissa have calming effects and reduces the tension we feel when a deadline is around the corner. On the other side, it has memory-enhancing effects, improves long-term memory, and works in critical areas of the brain such as the hippocampus and the frontal cortex to facilitate memory collection and retrieval (7).
Ginkgo biloba: This is an acclaimed extract and one of the essential nootropics. No matter what combination you use, you can’t miss Ginkgo biloba. It has a potent oxygenating action in the brain and stimulates blood flow in the central nervous system. We recommend Ginkgo biloba because it has two critical components: terpene trilactones and ginkgo flavonol glycosides.
These substances have an antidementia effect and have been tested in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. It concentrates in the brain and acts in the hippocampus, and the frontal cortex, similar to Melissa leaves. Ginkgo biloba activates the process of memory collection and retrieval and improves the capacity of attention and focus (8).
Thyme: The health properties of thyme include a very potent antibacterial function. It also improves pulmonary function and works for asthma, cough, and other symptoms. However, it does have a significant effect on the nervous system, too. It has a substance called thymol that displays an anxiolytic effect. In other words, it reduces anxiety and calms down the body and mind.
Recent studies have also shown that thyme has a neuroprotective effect. Thus, if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or recently started to experience some memory loss, thyme may help you decrease the amyloid plaques formation in your neurons, which impair memory and cause dementia (9).
Rosemary: The effects of rosemary are similar to others listed above. Its flavonoids and natural substances have a dual action on the brain: they have anxiolytic and memory-enhancing properties. It also works to improve sleep disorders and reduce depressive symptoms.
Rosemary was tested in a group of 100 students of 20-25 years, and after completing their questionaries and other assessments, researchers found a significant reduction in anxiety and depression levels. They also saw an increase in the memory performance. The group of students also mentioned they had a better sleep quality at night. Thus, it stimulates the brain without causing sleep problems (10).
Nootropic users can make better use of this substance by stacking them. In other words, they consume a combination of herbs instead of only one. You can consume them in a pill, infusion, or any other oral preparation.
Our “Focus and Concentration” infusion has every ingredient listed in the section above, and it is an excellent option if you need a push forward in the right direction. After using Focus and Concentration tea, be sure to make modifications in your lifestyle and habits to experience better results. It is recommended for students, office workers, and adults who feel worried about their cognitive function.
If you follow our recommendations and keep taking your daily dose, the effects will build up over time. We recommend starting to use Focus and Concentration tea for a minimum of 1 week before exam week or any other important date and continue using it as long as you can to protect your mind and boost your cognitive function.