“Oh, You have got the memory of a goldfish” is something we utter to our kids when they forget things. But, turns out fish have more attention span than humans have so it’s unfair to drag them into it. According to a study, humans generally have an attention span of 8 seconds – way shorter than that of a goldfish. In this article, we bring before you natural ways to boost child’s focus and attention.

Attention Problem in Digital Age

Let’s face it, the negative effects of a highly digital lifestyle have spoiled the younger generation. Children’s ability to focus and concentrate has become a major problem today. We are witnessing a surge of cases in attention deficit disorder with kids and they are constantly being put on medication. However, these medications come with serious and harmful side-effects that can pose a health hazard in the long run.

Rather than relying on chemical medication to improve your child’s focus, why not try something more sustainable and beneficial without any side-effects? Here are some natural ways to boost child’s focus and attention.

1. Adopt a Vata-Pacifying Lifestyle

According to Ayurveda, your body is governed by three prime doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Kids who suffer from attention and focus issues have a vata imbalance in their body. When they have a predominance of Vata constitution in their body, they tend to have a sensitive nervous system that will make them more prone to anxiety, restlessness, inattention, etc.

Adopt a routine lifestyle for the kids with regularity and structure to counter their natural tendency toward chaos. Choose a regular time to do homework, exercise, relax, go to bed, wake up.

It is also recommended to find out the child’s dosha or body constitution to understand their health needs and then take the right measures to restore proper balance.

2. Eat Brain-Healthy Foods

Kid’s brain are developing new connections and growing at a rapid rate, so it is important to keep the brain nourished. You cannot expect their brain to run smoothly when you feed it overly-processed, artificial and high sugar food. It is important to include healthy fats, green vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries in their diet.

3. Practice Systematic Relaxation

Meditation is very helpful for children to help their brains rewire and grow new cells and so is Pranayama or breathing exercises. You can also do a 5-10 minute yoga nidra or relaxation with your children at least once a day. Lie down on the floor in shavasana or corpse pose and ask them to feel their body from head to toe. Do it like a game inducing positive thoughts and helping them relax. Ask them to take deep breadths.

This helps the child to switch from a sympathetic mode which is a fight or flight response to a parasympathetic phase which encourages a nourished and restorative state. Try this when your kids come home from school, before bedtime or when they are over-stimulated.

4. Try a Bedtime Massage

Natural oil helps to balance the vata. A bedtime massage will not only aid them to fall asleep sooner but also have a calming effect. Use organic unrefined oil like olive, almond or sesame oils for full body massage at least once a week. If you don’t have much time, just massage their feet at bedtime.

4. Opt for Ayurvedic Herbs and Remedies

A recent study shows that herbs like Brahmi or Bacopa, Ashwagandha, Tagar and Shirodara were very effective in improving the attention span of children suffering from ADHD. These herbs don’t have harmful side-effects, unlike common chemical medications. Other natural herbs include Ginkgo, Ginseng, Mullein, Valerian Root, Lobelia, Chamomile.

5. Digital Detox

Most of our kids are forever plugged-in playing video games, watching TV and more. The constant exposure agitates their nervous system and hampers with their attention span. Moreover electro-magnetic radiation leads to a whole host of problems. Try to limit screen time to an hour or less each day.

6. Exercise and Super Brain Yoga

Physical exercise is vital to improve brain function. It helps to increase oxygen supply to brain and stimulates neuronal connections by boosting neuroplasticity. Exercises like Super Brain Yoga and other yoga asanas Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend), Halasana (Plow Pose), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) help to boost the brain functions effectively.

It is also important to let children have some outdoor time at parks and sports so that they are not trapped indoors all the time. Running and playing helps more brain cells to grow.

Putting it All Together : The Bigger Picture

Remember that at the end of the day your children should feel loved, grounded and nourished. With a revived emotional and physical quotient, you are sure to find your kids with a greater level of focus. Together find creative ways to move in a positive direction and heal your child holistically. Your child will be healthier and happier and so will you!