Lack of concentration: The best tips, tricks & tricks

Konzentrationsschwäche: Die besten Tipps, Tricks & Kniffe

We all know concentration problems: You are sitting at your desk but constantly thinking about the argument with your partner or your sporting success from the previous evening. This is normal and harmless. Poor concentration, on the other hand, is a serious problem.

With a lack of concentration, concentration problems do not occur occasionally, but frequently. There can be crises and problems in life and suddenly it is no longer possible to concentrate regularly. With a lack of concentration, the lack of concentration becomes a serious problem.

Here you will find important information about lack of concentration and ways out. We answer important questions, name causes and give you tips.

the essentials in brief

  • There are many possible causes of poor concentration. Life crises, mental illnesses, physiological reasons or an unhealthy lifestyle can trigger a lack of concentration.
  • If you have recognized a lack of concentration in you, this is no reason to panic. Run through possible causes and take a look at your lifestyle. If you don't know what to do, your best option is to see a doctor you trust.
  • There are various factors that have a favorable influence on the ability to concentrate. This includes a balanced diet, exercise, sleep, meditation and rest.

Definition: What is a lack of concentration?

The word concentration comes from the Latin concentra = "together to the center". Concentration is the ability to focus attention at will on specific information, objects, or people. The better you can focus on one thing at will, the better your concentration.

Difficulty concentrating is therefore the inability to let your attention rest on an activity that is being performed. Difficulty concentrating causes people's attention to scatter.] We all find it difficult to concentrate at times.

The decisive characteristic of a lack of concentration is that the lack of concentration occurs continuously over a longer period of time. This can lead to serious problems in the long run, such as losing your job or getting bad grades in school.

Background: What you should know about lack of concentration

In the following paragraphs we have collected and answered frequently asked questions about lack of concentration.

What are possible causes of poor concentration?

  • psychological overload, e.g. stress
  • Sleep disorders: Sufficient sleep is important for performance. This applies to sleep length and sleep quality.
  • Nutrient deficiency: A nutrient deficiency can result in concentration problems, including vitamin, calcium, magnesium or iron deficiencies.
  • Dehydration: It is important that you drink enough fluids, especially water. A daily amount of 1.5-2 liters is recommended. At high temperatures and sports, more accordingly.
  • Too little exercise: A lack of exercise can show up in concentration problems. A walk or a brisk jog can increase concentration.
  • circulatory disorders
  • dementia
  • AD(H)S
  • depression
  • Kidney weakness (renal insufficiency)
  • Anorexia nervosa (anorexia nervosa)
  • low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

How do I recognize a lack of concentration?

You recognize the lack of concentration when you are busy with a task. You sit in front of your desk and try to work on the task but your mind keeps wandering. You make an effort to work on the task, but it seems to you that it is not possible to let your thoughts rest on the task.

woman reads books

We all need to focus at times. If the ability to concentrate is limited for a long time, it could be a lack of concentration. (Image sources: silviarita / pixabay)

You don't have trouble concentrating, if that sometimes happens. But if you notice that you can't concentrate as well as you used to, ask about possible causes. If your concentration is poor or declining for a long period of time, you could be suffering from a lack of concentration.

How do I recognize a lack of concentration in children?

A lack of concentration in children is not always easy to recognize. The child does not yet have a pronounced problem awareness and probably does not recognize the lack of concentration itself. A small lack of concentration is very common among young children of primary school age and is not a cause for alarm.

After they start school, the children first have to learn how to concentrate on a task for a longer period of time. You can help your child by helping them with their homework, for example. Sit down and be patient with the child. If the child is distracted, remind them of the task.

Discussions with primary school teachers can also be informative. If your child is having a particularly difficult time following the lesson, the teacher will notice. If the concentration problems do not improve, therapy is also an option. Your doctor can give you more information. It is important that you take the concentration problems seriously so that no learning disabilities develop. Here is a small checklist:

symptom Yes No
Does your child often find it difficult to concentrate? Yes No
Did your child have trouble concentrating in the past? Yes No
Are there problems at home that could keep the child busy? Yes No
Does your child have a good relationship with their classmates? Yes No
Is your child happy at school? Yes No
Does your child have a good relationship with the teachers? Yes No

These are a few questions you could ask yourself to get to the bottom of things. The questions serve as a suggestion. Note: The questions cannot replace advice from experts such as a pediatrician.

What helps with poor concentration in children?

In principle, the same measures help children as adults. A particularly good measure against concentration difficulties in children is sport. It is easy to motivate children to exercise if the child enjoys the sport. A large number of studies indicate that sport has a positive influence on physical and mental functions. (6)

Especially in the early school years, you should consult the class teacher intensively about your child's performance. If your child turns out to be having trouble following class, going to the pediatrician may also be the right option. It could also be AD(H)S behind it.

When should I go to the doctor?

Having trouble concentrating for a short period of time is annoying but common. In principle, there are a number of ways in which you can increase your performance. However, you need the necessary will and discipline for this. If you notice that your concentration is not improving, you should consider seeing your family doctor.

The lack of concentration can be due to an unfavorable lifestyle.

But it can also be that depression or physiological causes are behind it. Be honest with yourself. Don't hesitate to ask for medical advice if you don't know what to do.

Lack of concentration: The best tips & tricks for increased concentration

There are a few things you can do to increase your concentration. In the following we will show you several valuable tips for a better ability to concentrate.


Sport is an essential part when it comes to physical performance and mental fitness. Exercise increases blood circulation in the body and makes you feel more alert and powerful. Exercising also increases your serotonin levels and dopamine levels. (7.9)

Dopamine and serotonin are two hormones that increase well-being. The increased well-being makes it much easier for you to concentrate. In addition, sport makes you resilient and more resistant. (8) Serotonin also makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night.

Exercise also helps lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol is also popularly known as the stress hormone. A certain level of cortisol is positive and motivating. However, if your cortisol levels are too high, it leads to uncomfortable stress and makes it harder for you to concentrate. So next time you feel stressed: Put on your sports gear and go!


It has long been scientifically recognized that there is a link between mental fitness and nutrition. (3) Diet influences how productive we are and whether we can concentrate on the task at hand. In the following I explain some aspects you can pay attention to.


It is essential to provide the body with all vitamins in sufficient quantities. Your ability to concentrate is inextricably linked to your body and your brain. If your body lacks essential vitamins, your body cannot work optimally and this is immediately noticeable in your ability to concentrate.

An important group are the B vitamins. The B vitamins have a positive effect on the energy metabolism of the nerve cells. This is noticeable in the form of increased concentration and mental fitness. Particular attention is paid to vitamins B9, B12 and B6. (4)

Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids have an impact on the release of serotonin in the brain. If your body is sufficiently supplied with vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, this results in an optimal release of serotonin.(5)

Serotonin is popularly known as the happiness hormone and has a positive effect on your mood. When you are in a good mood, you perform better and it is easier for you to concentrate on the task at hand.


Parents and teachers used to recommend taking dextrose with you to the exam. Some parents may still do that today. The fact that glucose increases the ability to concentrate is partly true. In the short term, sugar leads to a release of dopamine and a mood high. (2)

Sugar consumption can be the cause of imbalance.

In the medium and long term, sugar has undesirable effects. The mood high is followed by the mood low. When the mood is low, it is difficult to concentrate and be productive. The body needs more sugar for the next high. It's a vicious cycle. Sugar could also impair memory. (1)

Cutting out sugar keeps your insulin levels stable. There are no mood swings and your ability to concentrate is stable.

Other important nutrients

Your brain needs many other nutrients for optimal performance. These include omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, sulphur, magnesium, minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium and much more. In the table below you will find a list of foods that have a concentration-lowering or concentration-enhancing effect.

Good Bad
Fruit sweets
Vegetables ready-made student food
nuts Finished products/ fast food
legumes white flour products
Sufficient water Sugary drinks


There is no healthy lifestyle without healthy sleep. There is no optimal concentration without healthy sleep. According to research, the optimal nighttime sleep is between 6 and 8 hours. Sleep deprivation is known to affect alertness in many animals. According to this, the main function of sleep may be to regulate attention. (10)

Sleep leads to a slower reaction rate and larger fluctuations in performance. (11)

Scientific evidence suggests that better sleep quality increases the ability to focus on the task at hand. (12) Thus, restful sleep can increase the ability to concentrate.

Do you find it difficult to fall asleep? Exercise and meditation are two natural helpers for better sleep.


In recent years, meditation has increasingly become the focus of science and the public. Meditation is known from Buddhism and has been practiced there for thousands of years. There is now a lot of scientific research on the effects of meditation on the body and mind.

woman sitting on the beach

Meditation is all the rage, and with good reason. Daily meditation has many positive effects and can also help you concentrate better. (Image sources: Renata Hille / pixabay)

Studies suggest that there is a link between regular meditation practice and the ability to focus. The studies come to the conclusion that a daily meditation practice increases the ability to concentrate.

Meditation was able to increase the ability of study participants to concentrate after just a few days.

The ability to voluntarily direct one's attention to a specific task has increased significantly after just a few months of meditation practice. (13) Don't want to wait months for the positive effects? You do not need. There is evidence that a meditation practice increased the attention of study participants after just a few days. (14)


Breaks help you stay focused. There are various studies on which work-break rhythm is optimal. In any case, all studies agree that regular breaks are important. A long working period without a break inevitably leads to concentration problems.

The breaks can be short. It is important that you take regular breaks. It's best to change places during the break and stretch your legs. A walk in the fresh air can also help to awaken the mind and increase concentration.


There are now several studies investigating the connection between attention and music. A study came to the conclusion that the more the listener likes the music, the better the music promotes concentration. The background music had a negative impact on attention when the workers did not like the music. (15)

When choosing music, you should make sure that the music is without lyrics if possible. According to study results, music with song lyrics in the background has a negative impact on concentration. (16) Overall, the scientific evidence is not yet clear. However, there are studies that indicate that music can promote concentration. (17)

Try it out for yourself next time: play some music in the background and see if it helps. Make sure the music has little to no lyrics and is harmonious.


If you have noticed a lack of concentration in you or your child, there is no reason to panic. There are many ways to get a grip on poor concentration. The fact is that the ability to concentrate is closely related to lifestyle.

If you want to avoid a lack of concentration or want to push yourself, you can use the tips to improve your lifestyle and increase your concentration. On top of that, a healthy lifestyle gives you a better attitude towards life. Take the tips into account and you'll say goodbye to lack of concentration and say hello to freedom. Have fun!


  1. 'Metabolic syndrome' in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signaling and cognition
  2. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake
  3. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function
  4. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review
  5. Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior
  6. Physical Activity and Cognitive Functioning of Children: A Systematic Review
  7. The role of dopamine in overcoming aversion with exercise
  8. The role of dopamine in overcoming aversion with exercise
  9. Exercise and sleep in aging: emphasis on serotonin
  10. The Yin and Yang of Sleep and Attention
  11. Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition
  12. Sleep quality, neurocognitive performance, and memory self-appraisal in middle-aged and older adults with memory complaints
  13. Deconstructing the effects of concentration meditation practice on interference control: The roles of controlled attention and inflammatory activity
  14. Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: evidence of brief mental training
  15. Effects of background music on concentration of workers
  16. Background music: effects on attention performance
  17. Music Stimuli for Mindfulness Practice: A Replication Study
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