Are Cognitive Enhancement Supplements Safe?

Over the last few years, cognitive enhancement drugs or supplements, also know as “smart drugs”, have become increasingly popular. Since the release of the movie “Limitless”, many people have been attracted to cognitive enhancers and the thought of having a better memory, increased concentration, and enhanced productivity.

cognitive enhancement drugsIt’s no secret that today, it’s a little easier to get distracted with all of the technology surrounding us. From social media, YouTube, various other websites, and mobile apps, we spend less of our time being productive and more of it scrolling down a news feed or watching next related video in the sidebar.

For someone who needs to stay on task and not get lost in the digital universe, cognitive enhancers may provide some benefits that will increase your focus.

Are Cognitive Enhancement Drugs Safe?

The answer to that questions is still in the air depending on who you ask. While certain cognitive enhancers are FDA approved, others may not carry the official seal of approval. Then again, the FDA approves all sorts of things that aren’t healthy to put into your body so due diligence in any decision is your best bet. In addition, since the new “smart drug” trend has only been around a few years, there isn’t enough data to determine any long term side effects from taking the types of pills.

If you are thinking of taking any cognitive enhancing pills, be sure to look into the ingredients. Your best bet is to look for something that contains natural ingredients instead of chemicals that can lead to problems down the road. There are natural cognitive enhancers that are made up of a combination of natural ingredients that can be found in plants. Throughout history, certain plants and fruits have been known and used for there many health benefits from aloe vera and its skin healing treatments, to the recent “public” discovery of coconut oil’s benefits to the body. Many researchers believe ginkgo biloba has the potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other age related illnesses. They say that by the blood thinning, it allows more to flow to the brain.

If carrots are full of vitamin C, and grapes are packed with antioxidants, bananas are a good source of potassium, and milk thistle helps the liver function, why wouldn’t there be natural herbs that can also help the functionality and awareness of the brain?

If certain natural ingredients can have cognitive enhancing properties, then why not use them instead of the synthetic chemicals?

I’ll let you decide.


How to Improve Focus and Concentration – 8 Tips

improve concentration and focus

Here are 8 Tips to Help Improve Your Focus and Concentration So You Can Start Accomplishing More Throughout the Day!

 

Many of our daily activities require a great deal of concentration. However, the difficulties of resisting distractions and maintaining a good level of focus for long periods of time are some of the common problems most people face.

Total concentration is absolutely essential to obtaining the best results in any facet of life. The key to success in any endeavour you undertake is to concentrate on one thing at a time while putting all of your effort in that activity; and for that to happen, you must get rid of all possible distractions around you.

Recent neuro-scientific studies have shown empirically that about 80% of students and 25% of adults have a chronic tendency not to complete tasks. This fact is hardly surprising considering the age we live in now; what with all the distractions and interruptions of the internet, social media and smart phones.

A lack of concentration is simply a bad habit that needs to be dropped while a new habit of intentionally directing one’s full attention towards a task until the desired end result is achieved need to be formed. This will require a lot of effort and willpower on your part because optimizing one’s mental focus requires some mental training. While this might seem like an uphill task at first, it is definitely attainable.

There are some strategies and tricks that can be applied to achieve better focus and concentrate more easily. So, if you have a hard time staying focused, the following tips will come in handy;

1) Interruptions and Distractions

Two of the greatest enemies of concentration are interruptions and distractions. It is really a paradoxical situation because these twin problems are avoidable. Often, the disruption may appear to be more interesting than the task at hand, and hence, we see it as a good justification for postponing a difficult task.

One of the factors that can make you lose focus very easily is the sound of your email notifications from your mailbox whenever you receive a message. These can divert all your attention.

Although many jobs require the use of email, turn off email notifications and check your email from time to time. Try not to be always logged in to your social media accounts unless it is absolutely necessary as they can lead to distractions. Try to strike a balance between leisure time and work. If you don’t need the internet for the task at hand, then log off.

A simple rule is this: turn off your phone, forget internet and get to work.

2) Plan Accordingly

Segment your tasks into shorter periods. Plan out your day in blocks of time. You can try to work in time blocks of 30 minutes or an hour, depending on what works best for you. Also, you could experiment with time blocks of 40 minutes comprising of two 20 minute blocks each for performing various tasks.

You will discover that within 20 – 30 minutes of intense concentration, you will be much more productive than working for four hours with divided attention.

If you still feel overwhelmed with stress or anxiety and unable to get much done within short time blocks, chances are that you are taking on too much at the same time. Set realistic goals and try to meet your target one step at a time.

3) Take short breaks

When we perform jobs that require much mental and physical effort, fatigue sets in. Once we get tired, our performance starts to decline. To avoid this, take short breaks every so often.

You can work for 45 minutes and then rest for 10 minutes or work for 90 minutes and then have a 20 minute rest. Set the most suitable rest duration for yourself as you see fit while being mindful not to exceed a 20 minute rest duration so as not lose concentration. Ideally, your work duration should be at least 4 times greater than your set rest duration.

4) Play games

Games that force you to concentrate like Chess, Monopoly, Chinese checkers or any game that makes you think of a strategy. Jigsaw puzzles also requires a lot of concentration to find the exact location for each piece of the puzzle. There are also games like Sudoku which force you to think and concentrate. Any one of these games will boost your ability to focus.

Playing them for 15 to 20 minutes every day will gradually begin to train your brain to concentrate just like a muscle can be trained to become stronger. In this case, you are forcing your brain to concentrate on that game at that very moment. Gradually, your level of concentration will improve, not only on the games but also in your daily activities.

5) Get organized.

Sometimes we have so much to do that we do not know where to start. A good strategy to prevent distracting thoughts is to organize daily activities and keep a schedule. Define what you expect to accomplish by doing what you plan to do and set appropriate goals.

Divide each goal into smaller and easier goals. If you deem it necessary, divide those small goals into even smaller goals still. Choose how, when and where to tackle each one in order. It will help you focus on every task that you need to perform.

6) Get enough sleep.

The benefits of sleep are endless. Trying to concentrate while being sleep-deprived is like trying to concentrate while drunk. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Try going to sleep a little earlier than usual to get as much sleep as possible.

7)  Use a timer.

Set a timer to go off at certain times so that you can better organize your time to accomplish each task. This allows you to focus your attention on what you should be doing at that point in time and avoid distractions.

8) Practice meditation.

We hear about meditation all the time but we don’t realize the extent of its efficacy. It is the best way to learn to concentrate and free our minds of distractions. A simple meditation exercise can be done in as little as 15 minutes while sitting in a chair, with your eyes closed. If you practice this every day, you will gradually achieve better concentration levels.

By following these techniques, you can begin to train your brain to not only focus more on the tasks you are engaged in, but also to accomplish more throughout the day.


Is Adderall Bad For You? Uses, Side Effects, and Alternatives

is adderall bad for us

Over the last few years, the Adderall craze has become more evident than ever…

It’s no secret that many college students are in dire need of more time. Between classes and studying, not to mention extracurricular activities, students can find themselves worn out and exhausted. Unfortunately, there’s no mercy when it comes to grades and deadlines for assignments.

     Trying to read, study, and retain information while already mentally drained can be a difficult task. For many, just staying awake presents a challenge. Because of this, many students find themselves turning to a prescription drug known as Adderall.

The Adderall epidemic is not specific to students either, even young business professionals are now using Adderall as a means to concentrate on projects and work longer hours without sleep.

What is Adderall?

Adderall is the brand name for a prescription drug that combines the ingredients dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. Both ingredients are central nervous system stimulants that affect chemicals in the brain that can influence hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Adderall is commonly prescribed to those suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Under these circumstances, Adderall can help by increasing the attention span of the patient. In some cases, Adderall is used to treat symptoms of narcolepsy which can also include excessive and daytime sleepiness.

The problem today is, many of the people that are now taking Adderall, are not suffering from the conditions that would normally be required to take Adderall. With Adderall effecting chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, it can produce feelings of euphoria which can in turn increase the chances of addiction. This may be the reason Adderall is listed as a “schedule 2” drug in the controlled substance category with cocaine. These schedules are based on the abuse and dependency potential of the drug. An example of this is the number of people now using the drug to get “high”, are even going as far as snorting it and even mixing the drug with water and injecting it with a syringe. Sadly, anybody going to this extreme to get a “feeling” from a drug meant to help you study or focus, shows the dangers that can come with the addiction and misuse of any substance including prescription drugs like Adderall.

What are the Side Effects of Adderall?

First and most importantly, if you think you’re experiencing an allergic reaction to Adderall call for emergency medical help. This may include but is certainly not limited to: hives, difficult breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some of the more common reported side effects of Adderall or the ingredients dextroamphetamine and amphetamine are:

  • Stomach aches or pains
  • Bladder pain
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Difficulty urinating or (burning sensation)
  • Faster, irregular heartbeat
  • Lower back and side pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of nervousness
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Dry mouth

So what’s the problem with Adderall?

As if the common side effects of Adderall weren’t enough to deem it dangerous already, the long term effects could prove it to be not worth the risk.

Adderall has been known to lead to drug-tolerance. This means that over time, the body needs higher doses to achieve the same effect. In addition, Neuroscience News released a report stating that students who use Adderall long term will experience a significant depletion of dopamine when they attempt to quit taking it.

Some of the long term side effects of Adderall can be depression, hostility, or even paranoia. This could be due to the increased availability of neurotransmitters over long periods of use. To make matters worse, many have noticed withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, disorientation, fatigue, and mental depression.

The Conclusion…

It’s apparent that Adderall can not only have harmful side effects, but a high potential for addiction and psychological dependency. Unless you’re diagnosed with a condition that would deem Adderall necessary, its potential to become addictive and the negative effects it can cause, may do more harm than good. It would be wise to stay away from prescription drugs unless they’re directly prescribed to you. The good news is, there are other alternatives that can produce the same results (increased focus and concentration), without the harmful side effects. One of these new revolutionary “smart drugs” is called Geniux. It’s an alternative to Adderall that can help with memory, energy, concentration, and focus. To learn more about Geniux click here.

 

 

 


Need Some Tips to Improve Your Concentration?

improve your concentration

Here’s a few tips to help improve concentration from home

 

improve your concentrationHave you been struggling to concentrate? You can actually learn some tips to improve your concentration in this article. Often times, difficulty concentrating is due to the struggle in your brain to focus on the task at hand. It should be about what’s important and what’s not.  You know you have to focus on your task to get it done, but your mind is focusing on what a perfect day it would be to go to the beach, fishing, or basketball or whatever.

Which one will you decide

First of all, everything you heard about getting a good night sleep, eat right, exercise… are all in fact helpful toward improving concentration.  Getting a good night sleep refreshes you and allows your body to relax and recover.  When you wake up, it’s important to provide healthy fuel to your body to get the metabolism going for the day and get those neurotransmitters ready for action. Studies also show that a moderate level of exercise is good for increasing attention and recall.  So allow yourself a brisk walk around the block if you can before your task.  Your brain is at its peak level of awareness at 11:00am (depending upon when you wake up). In would help to center any challenging tasks around that time of morning.

Now with those general rules for attention, let’s focus on concentration.

To show how strong concentration can be, I will ask you a question.  Have you ever been driving, pull into your driveway, and not remember driving home?  But yet somehow you got there.  Were you concentrating?  Our brain can essentially go into auto-mode. It’s a very powerful tool.

If you have to do something very important and it requires serious concentration, try to do it in a familiar place.  When you are comfortable in your surroundings, it will improve your concentrate.  You have fewer distractions and are more relaxed because everything is familiar to you.

I know this one might be difficult to do with others around you, but talking to yourself has been proven to be a good way to focus and problem solve under difficult circumstances.  By verbalizing a problem, you can hear yourself and focus not only on the task, but also on what is spoken.  It allows much more clarity when you hear yourself work through a problem.

how to improve concentrationAnother tip to improve concentration is an easy one.  Just take a break.  Breaking the monotony of extended periods of focus is important. You can take a short stroll, do some stretching, and get a drink of water if you need to. You will come back refreshed and ready to hit it hard.

Also, try to find a quiet place to work.  If you are in an environment with other people, try to isolate yourself as much as possible.  It can be very difficult to block out noise when we have no control over it.  But if the noise is familiar, it should not be too difficult to block out.

Food-PyramidFinally, there are also foods to improve concentration. These “brain foods” like blueberries, oatmeal, nuts, and salmon have all been shown to increase cognitive function.  Adding a little change to our diet is another beneficial way to increase our recall and process information.

Concentration is mind over matter.  Before you start working, studying, writing, etc. try to get a good night of sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, and maybe fit in some exercise.  When you are working on your improving  concentration,  remember to stop a couple of times to take a walk, get some fresh air, and maybe some water, eliminate distractions and you should feel that concentrating is a little easier.


Hello from Healthy Brain

Healthy Brain hello

brain photoWelcome to Healthy Brain!

We’re excited to see you here. Our goal is provide you with some ways to improve your focus, concentration, and memory.

Not only that…

We’ll be talking about nootropics, brain enhancing drugs, cognitive enhancers, smart drugs, and plenty of other confusing, yet exciting topics you want to know about.

It’s no secret that are brain is the most powerful things we possess.

So why not get the most use out of it and maximize it potential?