Writers – Feed Your Brain

Lately, while reading, I noticed my thoughts often wandered away, even though the story is thrilling and I love the characters. I considered myself a bit tired and prepared a ‘brain-boost’ in form of a cup of coffee.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

Then I started thinking: I think I read somewhere, that the impact of caffeine on our organism is more illusional than physical. Finally, I started to do some research. After all, we writers are mostly working with our brains! And I consider that our ‘most important’ tool for our work – besides the fingers, computers, pen and paper, and a few other things, of course.

I’m not someone who likes to feed myself lab-produced over-the-counter vitamins and supplements. I try to eat balanced and healthy. But I tried to find out, what other nutrients my brain needs to keep focused. That’s what I found:


  1. Coffee

Coffee indeed has a positive impact on our brain. Caffeine and antioxidants help our brain in several ways:

Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes us sleepy and improves our mood. Also, it boosts our concentration, whether drank in the morning or several cups during the day.

I read about a suspicion that drinking coffee over the long term could reduce the risk of neurological diseases, for example, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

 

2.  Blueberries

It seems science has proven blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and can reduce the effects of age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Also, the study showed that a diet rich in blueberries significantly improved learning capacity and motor skills. Blueberries should be eaten daily.

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3. Broccoli

Broccoli contains strong plant compounds, including antioxidants, and is also high in vitamin K. That vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, which can be found in our brain cells.
It was proven that an extra vitamin K intake leads to better memory.

4. Wild salmon.

It seems deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in Omega3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Other Omega3 rich fish are sardines and herring. It is recommended to include fish in your diet two to three times a week.

5. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great vitamin E sources. It’s recommended to eat them daily, at least an ounce of a mix of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews peanuts, sunflower, and sesame seeds. If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, buy them unsalted. – Also very helpful are pumpkin seeds who contain a high value of Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, and Iron.

 

6. Avodados

Apparently, avocados are almost as good as blueberries when it comes to improving the health of our brains. Of course, avocado is a fatty fruit, but it contains a particular fat that helps to improve a healthy blood flow. A healthy blood flow means, a healthy brain, and it can contribute to lower blood pressure.

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7. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has strong antioxidant properties and contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which improves focus and concentration. Also, chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps to lift our mood. Still, as good as it sounds, this one has to be enjoyed in moderation. Less is more when it comes to dark chocolate. It does come with a few side effects.

Picture courtesy of Google.com

 

Finding Our Focus During Crazy Times: Only So Many Ducks to Give – Written By Kristen Lamb

Another fantastic article, published by Kristen Lamb, author, speaker, self-acclaimed ‘professional troublemaker’ and wonderful person! Thank you, Kristen!


Finding our focus has never been easy. Many of us have always lacked direction and fallen short on “clarity.” We’d multitasked ourselves into a daily fugue state long before COVID and quarantines and Zoom upended our lives.

Time somehow seeped through an unseen hole, leaking away one errand, email, trip, chore, or event at a time.

Ironically, I wrote a blog post Quiet: Have We Forgotten to Be Still in a World That Never Stops? back in February.

Um, so yeah. Oops. #CarefulWhatYouWishFor

Yet, to be blunt? At the time I wrote that blog, our Normal meant living life strapped to Hell’s Tilt-A-Whirl every…single…day. That is NOT healthy. We needed rest, quiet time and peace, yet we were threadbare and run ragged.

 

focus, stress, COVID-19, new normal, Kristen Lamb

 

I apologize for not posting for a while. It’s been VERY odd, especially since I’ve posted religiously no matter what for almost fourteen years. Suffice to say, this year—which started with yet another death in the family—had me ground down and exhausted. I seriously needed a sabbatical to recharge.

Moving on…

CONTINUE READING HERE

10 Tips To Focus On Writing

Life has become extremely hectic during the past decades. With the current development of technology, which, by the way, can be extremely helpful, in particular to us writers, it can as well be an enormous distraction. I caught myself so many times surfing through the internet, checking this or that social media account before writing, that, at the end of the day I had updated my accounts but haven’t written one single word.

According to scientists, the current average human attention span is around 8 seconds, which means, we are in fact, almost as low as a goldfish.

I was reading myself through psychological essays, meditation websites and a few other interesting pages for support on how to focus until I finally decided I needed my list of tips and tricks.

I am a writer, and besides being distracted by household things, health issues, cat stuff and social media, I love spending time outside… which, I finally realized, was one of the ways to focus on writing.

1. Spend time outside

Spend time outside. Maybe by going for a nice walk or enjoying the sunshine or taking a swim and thinking about your story, it will give you ideas you need to write down as soon as your back on your computer.

2. Work offline

Work offline. It will help you not to go on ‘checking’ on social media, and you can concentrate on your writing.

3. To-Do lists

Make two to-do lists. One for your regular day-by-day things and one for writing (and blogging). Make sure you don’t mix them up, but you need to block some time on your daily to-do list to keep some time for your writing.

4. Work spot

Look for your own silent work spot. Make sure you have a clean desk that doesn’t distract you and start your work. Enjoy and embrace the silence and, if necessary, keep the door closed.

5. Music

Help to focus on your work by listening to music you like. It will also help you to tune out the background noise that might distract you from your writing goal.

6. Big and small goals

Break down big goals into smaller ones. They’re easier to reach, and if you feel you are prepared and ready for the next goal, after a break you still can sit down and start to work on your next goal.

7. Breaks

Breaks! Allow yourself breaks in between your goals. Nothing is as relaxing as a break. It will refresh and reboot your brain. Just don’t forget to close the door again after you return to work.

8. Coffee

Caffeine helps to support your focus. It will wake you up, and while enjoying the warm, dark and spicy liquid in your cup your head is already on its way to your story. (You might ask, why does the coffee only make number eight? Well, I figure since we writers usually start our day with coffee, oral or by injection, I thought it doesn’t need to top this list.)

9. A Good Night’s Sleep

Live a healthy life with plenty of sleep. From what I read over the past few hours, many people are satisfied with only a few hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately being tired and confused in the morning after a lack of sleep, this might interfere with your ability to focus. Make sure you got plenty of sleep, with an average of 7 – 8 hours a night.

10. Keep your moods out

Keep work at work, frustration, and anger outside your work spot. Many writers do have a day job and don’t live off writing. To keep the focus on what you like to do, make sure you are relaxed and calm and left work at the office (or wherever) and blend out anger and frustration. It interferes with your writing.

Extra-tip: Certain food types might support the ability to focus. I figure to find out if that’s helpful, you will need to try: Blueberries, green tea, avocados, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, water, dark chocolate, flax seeds, and nuts.

Picture courtesy of: https://www.liftlearning.ca/areas-of-focus/

Productivity Tips: How to Stay Focused Admist Chaos

I got an interesting email today. Karina from BookMeditationRetreats.com has informed me about an article, Lystia Putranto published February 3, 2017.

Karina wrote:

“To be productive is a something that we all struggle with sometimes and at times, we find ourselves procrastinating on our daily task. On this article, our contributing writer, Lystia, shares a list of practical tips that can help us establish and maintain our focus.”

I found this article helpful and interesting and agree with Karina, that we might find this post very useful.

The title is: Productivity Tips: How to Stay Focused Admist Chaos and Lystia lists five very useful tips on how to organize ourselves.

  1. Make a Daily Schedule and Stick to It
  2. Take Up Meditation
  3. Do One Thing at a Time
  4. Minimize Distractions
  5. Give Yourself Designated Breaks

Each of the points includes more detailed explanations and gives us insight in her studies.

All in all a very interesting and useful blog post.

Please read the entire article here: https://www.bookmeditationretreats.com/news/productivity-tips-stay-focused

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5 Basic Tips on Staying Focused When Writing a Book – Guest Post…

Guest blogger Audrey Throne published a post on TSRA’s blog about how to stay focused when writing a book. Thank you Audrey!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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To be able to work with sheer dedication, a writer needs the ability to fully concentrate and stay focused at all times. Maintaining your focus for sustained periods can be a difficult task to do. Psychologists suggest a powerful form of concentration for writers called ‘flow’. This refers to an individual fully engaging in the task they are doing. For a writer, ‘flowing’ concentration is essential to write pieces with utmost fluency.

Inability to concentrate can be fruitless, especially for a writer. In order to make each day productive, writers must employ these 5 basic tips to stay focused on work and exercise their minds for better concentration:

Stick to the Schedule

The type of schedule you keep doesn’t matter as long as it caters to your needs and helps dedicate time to your book on a regular basis. If you’re not experienced in writing projects, avoid scheduling as you…

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