Are You Having Concentration Problems?

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There are many reasons why your mind might wander in class or during homework. Some of the most common factors are non-medical and simple, and they can be treated by making small changes in your routine.

Non-Medical Causes for a Lack of Concentration

  1. Fatigue from sleep deprivation is probably the most common cause of an inability to concentrate on one topic for very long.
    1. Many studies have shown that students are not getting enough sleep, and sleep deprivation has serious physical, emotional, and cognitive effects.
    2. The first step in attempting to solve your concentration problem is finding a way to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
    3. This isn't easy to do. Teens typically have busy lives and develop habits that make it difficult to get to sleep early enough.
    4. However, if you have a serious concentration problem, you may need to make some sacrifices to find a solution. Try getting plenty of sleep and see if you get results.
  2. Anxiety is another cause for the inability to concentrate. High school is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful time. Are you worried about something? If so, you might need to isolate your source of anxiety and confront it head on.Teens deal with many pressures from their peers, and this social force can become quite damaging in extremes.
    1. Are you dealing with pressure? If so, it may be time to change your life in a serious way to eliminate some of the stressors. Is your schedule too heavy? Are you involved in a toxic friendship?
    2. If you are dealing with peer pressure that might lead you down a dangerous path, it might be time to talk to an adult. Your parents, your guidance counselor, your teacher-find people you trust and let them know you're dealing with anxiety.
  1. Excitement is related to anxiety, but a little more fun! There are lots of things that come along from time to time that grab our attention and make us daydream. This can be a big problem during the final weeks of a term--but that's the very time we should be paying most attention! Midterms and finals happen to come along at the same time we start to dream about upcoming breaks and vacations. Make the conscious decision to set aside your daydreams until after class.
  2. Love. One of the biggest distractions for teens is physical attraction and love. Are you having a difficult time concentrating because you just can't get someone out of your head?If so, you just need to find a way to discipline yourself.
    1. It is sometimes helpful to establish routines in your study habits-by setting up parameters both inside and outside your head.
    2. Outwardly, you can establish a physical special study space and study time. Inwardly, you can set rules about thoughts that are and are not permissible during study time.
  1. Diet and caffeine are other potential problems when it comes to concentration. Your body is just like a machine in some ways. Just like an automobile, a body needs clean fuel to keep it running well.Different people are affected in different ways from foods and chemicals-and sometimes those effects can be unexpected.
    1. For example, it may surprise you to know that some studies have linked low-fat diet with symptoms of depression! And depression can affect your concentration.
    2. Caffeine is another potential trouble-maker when it comes to diet and moods. Caffeine consumption can cause insomnia, headaches, dizziness, and nervousness. These symptoms are sure to affect your concentration.
  2. Boredom is another big culprit when it comes to staying focused on your studies. Boredom stems from doing something that lacks meaning and motivation. What can you do?Every time you prepare to enter a study environment, take a moment for a reality check. What do you need to accomplish? Why? Concentrate on a goal for the next hour and think of a way to reward yourself for reaching that goal.