In today’s busy world, it has become common for people to experience brain fog, forgetfulness and mental fatigue in the workplace. This leads not only to more strenuous days but also to decreased productivity and more mistakes. However, poor brain function isn’t something that you have to tolerate.
Here are eight tips for increasing brain function on the job.
Stay Away from Sugar
Many people turn to sugary foods for a pick-me-up before or during, but they don’t realize that these foods may be the sole cause of their deficits in mental energy and clarity. Sugar makes you feel more mentally limber at first, but its effects are short-lived. Once your body uses up the sugar, your brain stops working as well. You forget things, make mistakes and your thoughts become sluggish. You may also become tired and irritable. Rather than reaching for another sugary lift, what you should do is eliminate the substance from your diet.
Although many people shudder at the idea of exercising, doing it in short bursts throughout your work day can improve brain function. Physical activity drives blood flow to the brain, improving oxygenation and making mental work easier. It also enhances your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, which is another essential aspect of healthy cognitive function. Your brain needs an incredible amount of nutrients in order to work properly. Furthermore, exercise chases away fatigue and increases overall energy, which keeps work from feeling like such a brain drain.
Eating regularly is an important part of optimal cognitive performance. It keeps blood glucose at stable levels, which prevents the brain-crippling effects of hypoglycemia. It also supplies your brain with a steady supply of fuel. It’s recommended that you munch on nutritious foods like nuts, seeds, popcorn and fresh produce rather than candy, chips or snack cakes. These foods provide vitamins and minerals that support healthy brain function. Nuts and seeds are particularly rich in B vitamins, which are essential for proper maintenance and operation of the brain and nervous system.
Take Breaks Often
One of the best things you can do for your brain is to take small breaks throughout the work day. When you spend too much time absorbed in your work, your brain gets fatigued more easily and makes you more susceptible to stress. Studies have shown that breaking for a few minutes to read, play games or listen to music actually prevents mental fatigue and burnout while improving job performance.
Someone once said that a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind, and many studies have found this to be true. Having a messy workspace means that you have more distractions. Over time, this can actually train your brain to get side tracked easily, preventing you from focusing for any significant length of time. This can make even simple tasks seem longer and harder. In addition, by keeping your workspace tidy, you won’t waste valuable mental energy looking for things you need.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
DHA, a form of omega-3, is found in large concentrations in brain tissue and is necessary for proper signal transmission. In human studies on hyperactive children, omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA in particular, assisted with focus and made the study participants calmer and less restless. Additional research has found that omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the negative cognitive effects of consuming sugar.
Take a Power Nap
When you’re at a loss for what to do during your breaks at work, consider taking naps. Sleep is strongly associated with improved memory formation and helps the brain analyze problems from different perspectives. Plus, even short naps will help restore some of the brain’s energy supplies, helping you get through your day without the need for caffeine or sugary foods.
Eat More Saturated Fat
New research is showing that saturated fat isn’t just good for you. It’s critical for proper mental function. Your brain is made up mostly of saturated fat, and this form of fat also happens to be its preferred fuel. In addition, your brain is unable to make use of omega-3 fatty acids without adequate saturated fat. This wrongly maligned fat is even needed for the production of testosterone, which greatly benefits cognitive performance.
James Zachary helps facilitates security guard training. He writes at SecurityGuard TrainingGuide.net