Daydreaming or Inability to Maintain Concentration?

When I was young, I rarely got into trouble. If I were to, it was for  “daydreaming”.  Daydreaming isn’t always bad.  Daydreaming can range from fantasy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, to realistic future planning, a review of past memories, or on the negative – just spacing out. Research has demonstrated that people who daydream are more creative than those who don’t, and according to a Harvard study they are more likely to be visionaries.  There are numerous people who are composers, novelists, and filmmakers who develop their ideas while daydreaming.

But where is the line drawn between “innocent daydreaming” and a mental aberration referred to as an “inability to concentrate”, “ADD” or being out of touch with reality?  It seems today that mostly it is labeled as an inability to concentrate, or ADD and has become more of a psychological disorder than anything innocent. Far too often it is also labeled so the person can be medicated.

Why are more and more people struggling with an inability to concentrate? It is common when someone is bored to let their mind wander. But when they want to concentrate, and can’t seem to, we need to look at what factors may be involved.

The first to explore is sleep deprivation. Insomnia is so common today, that it surprises me now when new patients tell me they sleep well. Women need 8-9 hours and men need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep can contribute to an inability to concentrate.

Is your life too sedentary? Research shows that exercise helps improve brain function. Getting oxygen to your brain via improved blood flow is good for an alert brain. The other thing the brain needs to function well is good nutrition. The brain needs minerals (from vegetables), fats (good fats such as butter, fish, or avocados), healthy proteins (such as quality meats), some carbohydrate (an overload of carbohydrate actually has the opposite effect) and plenty of hydration (water). Good eating equals a healthy brain.

Too much external stimuli such as music or TV in the background, a cell phone or instant messaging that keeps going off, or several browser windows open on your computer can all be distractions.

Then there’s stress and fatigue – big factors. People are so tired today, that they now call fatigue “depression”, and medicate for it. Medications for depression are known to dull the senses, so it is no wonder a person can’t focus! In fact, many medications, such as statins (anti-cholesterol medication), have common side effects of dull thinking, poor memory or inability to concentrate. When stressed or fatigued it is difficult to stay on task.

There are many other reasons why someone could suffer from an inability to concentrate that ranges from health challenges, to difficulties at home or work, hormonal imbalances and eating awful foods. Fortunately, there is much we can do to turn it around. Then you could just daydream when you want, and switch back to reality when you need to!

©2012 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic.

Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article or podcast should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article or podcast. Readers/listeners should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers/listeners who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

Recent Articles & Podcasts

Hope for Lupus Patients

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), commonly referred to as Lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause damage to any part of the body, but especially the

Read More »

Let's Solve This Puzzle Together!

At Vital Health we help people find clarity regarding the root causes of their health challenges and provide step-by-step guidance on what to do, and when to do it, in order to restore health naturally.