Tips to improve concentration

Mindfulness, cognitive training, and a healthy lifestyle may help sharpen your focus.

Published: October, 2020

You're trying to concentrate, but your mind is wandering or you're easily distracted. What happened to the laser-sharp focus you once enjoyed? "Older people tend to have more difficulty filtering out stimuli that are not relevant to the task at hand," says Dr. Kirk Daffner, a neurologist and director of the Center for Brain/Mind Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

What's fogging up focus?

Like a computer that slows with use, the brain accumulates wear and tear that affects processing. Dr. Daffner says this can be caused by a number of physiological stressors such as inflammation, injury to blood vessels (especially if you have high blood pressure), the buildup of abnormal proteins, and naturally occurring brain shrinkage.

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