Are you suffering from weak mental alertness and looking for ways to improve it? This article lays down some of the easiest and effective ways to boost your mental alertness.
What is Mental Alertness?
Mental alertness is a state of high sensory awareness and being quick to perceive and act. Our mind is one of the most powerful tools that inspire you to acquire your full potential. Mental alertness also refers to being watchful and prompt to react to danger. Hence, it is extremely critical to engage your mind in challenging activities and learn how to increase alertness.
7 Tips to Improve Mental Alertness
There is one thing everyone has in common, and that is, mental fatigue. This usually takes a toll on our work and affects our productivity. According to a Dutch study in 2018, 16% of employees aged 15-75 complained of mental fatigue, and employees aged 25-34 reported the most number of incidents. To stay productive throughout the day and to build a successful career, you can’t escape mentally-draining tasks, but you can take steps to increase your alertness.
1) Practice Yoga and Meditation:
Practicing yoga is as good for the brain as it is for the body. It releases endorphins, increasing the blood flow to the brain, thereby creating a happy and positive feeling. While this helps in improving your mental alertness, the value of meditating quietly with your eyes closed cannot be overstated. Meditation practice and calm breathing impacts the nerves that are directly tied to the arousal centers in the brain. It, therefore, relaxes your mind, providing you with a sharp focus and boosting your mental alertness. Moreover, meditation also helps in improving attention span and prevents age-related mental decline.
2) The Proper Nutrition:
You would have always come across this question, ‘What food is good for mental alertness?’ Let’s break down this answer for you. Food plays a significant role as it regulates your mood and energy. A nutritious diet helps to reinforce thinking and increases your brain’s capabilities. You surely know that caffeine helps in increasing your alertness and focus and acts as a natural support for a shaper brain state. Moreover, you can also consider taking some vitamins such as Vitamin B12 for concentration or Vitamin D3 to reduce mental stress and boost your alertness, thereby improving your productivity.
3) Engage in Puzzles and Games:
Our brain needs challenging activities to keep them against cognitive decline. Regular practice of crossword puzzles, brainteasers, and strategy games like Sudoku and others, lets the mind stay sharp and active. Moreover, exploring different approaches to do the same thing keeps your mind engaged and productive. It can also be a good break in between work and helps in improving your mental state without any extra efforts.
4) Take breaks:
Taking a leisurely walk in your garden, listening to music, or just enjoying your coffee, creates a much-needed change for your brain. It gives your brain a necessary break from work and rejuvenates its growth. If you suffer from a mental slump in the afternoon, step away from work and take a quick power nap. This would give a mental lift and provide greater clarity and focus on work. These brain breaks stimulate your brain cells and, with regular practice, help in improving your mental performance and work productivity.
5) Sleep well:
Apart from taking quick brain breaks, you also need to take longer breaks to relax your mind. The only way to do this is through adequate sleep. A human brain needs an average of seven hours of sleep. It clears your mind, makes your memory sharper, and aids in decision making. Hence, sleeping boosts your mental wellbeing, thereby relaxing and decluttering your mind, so that you wake up rejuvenated the next day. Good sleep also helps in improving mental acuity
6) Live in the moment:
It is tough to stay mentally alert when you are constantly thinking about the past or worrying about the future. You need to understand the importance of ‘being present’ and stay in tune with the present moment. This notion essentially helps in recapturing your mental focus and keeps your brain honed on to the details that matter currently. It might take some time, but when you learn to live in the moment truly, you will witness a significant change in your mental alertness and work productivity.
7) Eliminate distractions:
While it does sound obvious, people often do not consider how distractions prevent your mental focus and concentration. It could be loud music playing in the background or an obnoxious co-worker constantly coming to talk to you. Some internal distractions like anxiety (may be due to brain fog) worry or mental fatigue can also affect your brain’s ability to focus and deliver the work. Minimizing these sources of distraction would provide a great deal of positive influx in your brain, which in turn, stimulates your brain cells and improves your mental alertness. Moreover, you will also be able to deliver your best performance at work and boost your day’s productivity.
When your eyes work extra hard, the eye muscles contract. These contractions, in return, trigger an eye strain headache. Often, these simple practices can help in eye strain relief. You can check out some other tips in our eye strain treatment article. However, if the headache still persists, it is advisable to take professional help and consult with your eye doctor.