It is common in this world of busy days and too short nights, not enough sleep and too many tasks, to feel pulled in multiple directions, scattered and frazzled.
You are not alone.
Google “how to improve focus,” and you will get pages upon pages of advice, everything from “eliminate distractions” (not helpful) to prescription drugs (typically more harmful than helpful).
So, what’s the secret to real focus? Is it actually possible to improve focus? And are there crystals for focus?
The answers to the above questions are I’ll tell you, yes, and of course!
Focus is the ability to center in on and pay attention to one thing. We humans today struggle with focus at an astronomical level.
Thank social media, smart phones, and the demands of an increasingly global information age.
Add to all of that the need for most of us to work at least full time while managing households, raising children and trying desperately to have some sort of social and/or love life.
It feels impossible, right?
Recent studies show that 45% of adults struggle to focus, that even the average adult’s mind wanders 47% of the time, and that 75% of people allow for myriad distractions to derail their focus.
Mind boggling statistics.
Now, armed with those statistics, what can you do?
Are you simply helpless against the onslaught of things begging for your attention?
No. Once you recognize that you are out of focus, that you are struggling to find focus, and that it is not all your fault, you can also recognize that regaining focus is in fact your responsibility.
And you can take matters into your own hands.
How to Get Focused
The rise of pharmaceutical drugs to improve focus is staggering, and it is, in many cases, unnecessary.
A lot of the reason people struggle to focus is not lack of medication but lack of movement, and once they move more, get outside and get good strong cardiovascular exercise, they find their ability to focus improves dramatically.
Aim for 30 minutes of dedicated movement, at least, every single day, and watch your focus narrow and clarify.
Eating crap all day and night can have a horrible effect on your focus. It makes your blood sluggish, your mind wander, and fatigue set in.
Clean up your diet, and you clean up your energy levels.
Aim for lean protein like turkey, chicken, and fish, lots of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and water water water. Also, cut out alcohol and cut down sugar. All of this will lead to an increase in your overall energy.
With good energy, your focus will improve.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Easier said than done, right?
But, if your approach is to simply “get a good night’s sleep without integrating the other necessary tools, it can be difficult to simply “sleep more and sleep better.”
Once you integrate regular exercise and a clean diet, however, you will find yourself naturally sleeping better.
To boost your sleep, aim for good, restful habits like going to sleep at the same time every night, ideally before 10, turning off screens two hours before bed, and potentially taking a very small dose (like 1.5mg) of melatonin an hour before bed.
Good sleep is a critical foundation to a healthy life.
A healthy life improves focus.
Check Your Surroundings
Obviously, most of us cannot eliminate all distractions. We live with others, we have other responsibilities, and we cannot simply isolate.
But we can pay attention to where we are and who is around us when we are trying to gain full focus on a single task. Choose your time and place wisely, so that you don’t end up not only failing to focus but getting frustrated and anxious in the process.
Which brings me to the next step: reduce your multitasking, and not just while you’re trying to focus.
You will have to train your brain to stop trying to do it all at the same time all the time.
It takes time, but once you do it, you will find your brain more willing to focus on one single thing more often.
And think about it, most people are not actually multitasking when they think they are. They are, instead, dividing their attention and not doing any of their tasks the way they could, and maybe, should.
You, and whatever it is you’re trying to focus on, deserve better.
Sometimes, even the most focused among us struggle in the moment. The feeling of frazzle, being pulled, inability to concentrate just requires us to stop and breathe.
So do it.
When you are in the moment of feeling unfocused, stop and breathe.
Calm yourself way down, breathe in for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and breathe out for a count of four. Repeat that at least 10 times before attempting to refocus on the task at hand.
Take Breaks and Switch Tasks
Still, even breathwork does not help all the time.
In the event you still find yourself unable to focus in the moment, get up and take a break. Do a household chore, get blood flowing in your body.
And if that doesn’t work, give up.
Seriously. Quit that task for now and move to another one.
The idea is to not get yourself all bunched up and anxious about focus. Work with what you’ve got, and complete that task when you are able to relax and focus better.
Be gentle with yourself.
A big part of focus is reliant on time management and priorities.
Don’t make big, important tasks last minute priorities. Give yourself plenty of time to get them done.
Make a list of things to do for yourself each day, check in with it the night, and even a few nights, beforehand, and then adapt and shift as your day(s) change.
When you prioritize and manage your time, you are more likely to give your tasks the attention they are due from a relaxed, focused place.
If your inability to focus is due to a mental issue like depression or anxiety, get help.
A therapist, counselor, or psychologist can give you a range of tools to manage and heal your damaged mental health, which will also then help you focus.
You are not alone.
Millions of people struggle with mental issues that go undiagnosed and untreated.
You do not have to, and you should not, power through.
Get the help you need and start healing.
See a Doctor
Far more often than people realize, an inability to focus is due to an underlying medical condition you are unaware of.
Mild issues like metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, or a hormonal imbalance can cause a severe lack of focus, and treatment can be as simple as dietary changes or shifts in exercise.
See a doctor, discuss your issue, and ask for a full panel of blood tests, including heavy metal tests, to be run.
Your focus fix might just save your health, and your life, in the long run.
Crystals for Focus
While you put into place the practices to help your long term and short term focus, take heart and find stability in the crystals that will be with you throughout your journey.
The queen of clarity and focus, keep a clear quartz with you at all times when you are trying to get your head clear and focus on a single task or issue at hand.
The love stone will help you remember to love yourself anyway. It can feel frustrating to the point of debilitating when you cannot focus on something you need to be focused on. Keep this stone with your to remind you of your divine lovability and worthiness even when things feel hard.
A wonderful, beautiful stone for “allowing and surrendering.” You are allowed to daydream. You are allowed to let your mind wander. This is a light, bright stone filled with possibility and hope. Give in to the fact that you are struggling to focus, stop resisting, and you might just find yourself magically more able to focus.
A bold crystal reminds you of how powerful you are. While it may take time, you have the strength to put your practices into place and come out better on the other side of this journey toward focus and clarity.
I love obsidian for grounding. A solid black stone like the deepest depths of the earth, the obsidian keeps you present and in the moment, reminding you that you can focus. It might just take a shift in perspective.
Remember, your crystals are only as powerful as your belief in them, and, by extension, your belief in yourself.
You have to constantly remind yourself that yes, you can. And, magically, you can.