Feeling awake, alert and productive is the holy grail for many of us, but could supplements really help us get there?
The topic of mental clarity is very popular these days, with diets, supplements and non-supplemental interventions all being discussed as ways to achieve this state - but what exactly is 'mental clarity'?
The term mental clarity can be defined as meeting the following requirements:
- being able to focus
- feeling awake, but not to the point of feeling jittery
- feeling balanced - i.e. not euphoric or depressed
- not having a headache or feeling lightheaded.
In summary, mental clarity is present when we are awake, focused and not stressed. Certain issues can hinder these factors, making us feel lethargic and unbalanced - these include the following:
Nothing quashes productivity more effectively than a pounding headache. If you know the cause, be sure to eliminate it and consider your triggers - for example, if you get a headache when you haven't eaten in a while, try to keep healthy snacks with you.
In terms of supplements, caffeine can help to increase blood flow to the brain, alleviating pain. It is important to bear in mind that those who are not used to caffeine may well trigger one by having too much - so consider your personal limitations. This is also not an excuse to go crazy on the coffee - consuming the lowest dosage possible is recommended.
The balance of sedation and wakefulness is key to mental clarity - if you feel tired or over excited, things may not appear as clear as you would like. If getting to sleep is causing you problems, try to seek natural ways to help you fall asleep and identify the cause of your issues if possible. The most effective supplement for this is melatonin; however, it does not enhance your quality of sleep, it simply helps you drop off. Try getting this supplement through natural sources such as bananas or almonds.
Something we all suffer with from time to time, stress (whether it's acute or chronic) can affect more than just our mental clarity. While supplementation should not be your first port of call when it comes to stress (uncovering your triggers and addressing your lifestyle should be priority), it is helpful to know what help is on offer. Two of the most supported and well-known supplements to help with stress are Panax ginseng and Rhodiola rosea.
Be sure to speak to a medical professional before taking any new supplements.
If you want to learn more about natural ways to achieve mental clarity, please see our Therapy Topics page to see what therapies are available.
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