How many times have you realized that you spent half an hour of your time wondering about a senseless thing instead of doing something that required your attention? You will find that lots of people feel guilty about this. There is nothing wrong with having a short attention span as long as you are mindful about it and try to bring yourself back to the work.

However, when you frequently find yourself losing concentration and focus, it may be a cause of several underlying conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, depression, anxiety, head injury, etc.

When a person is suffering from a short attention span, he or she experiences some negative setbacks in their daily life. For instance, they find it impossible to complete the daily tasks that people can so easily achieve, face humiliation due to poor performance at work or school, inability to understand some of the important details, etc.

Under such circumstances, it becomes important to understand the causes of the problem and try to increase your attention span by some of the mindful and relaxing techniques.

What are the cause of low attention span?

1. Head injury

If you have gone through a brain injury, you are more susceptible to developing a low attention span than other people. A brain injury refers to any sort of injury to your head, scalp, or brain, be it an open or closed one. It also refers to a mild bruise or bumps to a traumatic brain injury.

Apart from suffering from a short attention span, people also suffer from nausea, headache, confusion, personality disorder, dizziness, memory loss, and seizures.

2. Depression

Depression is also one of the major causes of the short attention span of humans. When a person is depressed, he or she constantly feels low, sad, and helpless for a significant passage of time. They feel a sudden lack of interest in the things that they enjoyed doing and which gave them peace and pleasure.

Apart from a low attention span, a depressed person might also be suicidal and feel hopeless, a sudden need to cry, exhausted, insomnia or sleeping too much, body ache, and headaches.

3. ADHD

More often than not, ADHD is characterized as a disorder that is diagnosed in childhood and is generally continued into adulthood. A person suffering from ADHD struggles to pay attention to whatever work they are doing at the moment and faces trouble controlling their impulsive behavior.

A child suffering from ADHD may not have an excellent or even average academic performance. ADHD often increases the tendency of children to daydream. In addition to low attention span, people with ADHD also suffer from time management problems, anxiety, forgetfulness. and restlessness.

4. Autism

Autism or Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of neurological disorders which is diagnosed early in childhood. It hinders the social, behavioral, and communication development processes of children. Such challenges often prevent the person from concentrating on one thing for a reasonable period.

A person suffering from autism spectrum disorder also experiences difficulty in connecting emotionally with other people, dislike towards being touched by any person, trouble expressing their emotions and feelings openly, etc.

5. Learning disabilities

When a person is suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders which are often referred to as learning disabilities, the person’s basic learning skills are often stunted. The most common learning disabilities are dyslexia, dysgraphia (a neurological disorder that impedes writing skills and fine motor skills), dyscalculia, also known as ‘number dyslexia’ (math-learning disability that hinders a person to learn and practice almost all the concepts of mathematics).

A person suffering from any of the above-mentioned learning disabilities will not only experience a short attention span but will also suffer from poor memory, coordination between eyes and hands, and difficulty in understanding and following directions.

How can you increase your attention span?

Once you know the reason behind your low attention span, its treatment becomes much easier. When it comes to ADHD or any of the above-mentioned health conditions, the short attention span of humans can be treated with several medications accompanied by certain mindful and relaxing techniques. These techniques can not only help to increase your attention span significantly but also ensure a peaceful lifestyle.

5 Mindful and effective techniques to increase your attention span
1. Meditate

This point just couldn’t be stressed enough. You might have read this point innumerable times as meditation is one of the most effective ways which can help you curb all the mental ailments that you are suffering.

Meditation is the process of training your mind to focus and become aware of what you think. Along with increasing your concentration, it also helps in ensuring a positive outlook towards life and towards yourself.  

According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, meditation ‘improves executive attention’, even if you are not committed to it for a significant passage of time. Even if you meditate for 10-15 minutes throughout the day, you will feel profound effects on your physical and mental health.

2. Exercise

Exercising is another life-changing habit that can help you curb your concentration problems. Regular exercising does not ensure your physical well-being in the present and the future but also helps to build resilience, self-discipline, and focus in your life. 

Exercising is one the best habits to be developed for people suffering from ADHD. For this, you need not subscribe to a gym or start an intensive workout, a simple 30-minute walk or jog will work just fine.

3. Stay hydrated

When you are dehydrated, you lose your ability to think clearly and you find yourself wondering about stuff that is not relevant to what you are currently doing. Therefore, staying hydrated is of paramount significance to increase your attention span and ensure your physical well-being.

4. Chew gum

According to various studies, it was revealed that the process of chewing gum has improved a person’s ability to think and focus clearly at work. In addition to this, chewing gum is also associated with stress reduction and increased awareness.

5. Keep yourself engaged

When you find yourself getting distracted when you are attending a conference, meeting, or lecture, it is essential to stay engaged by writing notes. According to research, writing notes by hand ameliorates your mindfulness and awareness of the situation than typing it on your laptop or your phone.

These are some of the effective techniques that you can try to increase your attention span. Be that as it may, if you are suffering from other symptoms such as memory loss or any of the above-mentioned symptoms, do not hesitate even for a second to consult your doctor and get treated in time.