Update – Training Your Brain and Improving Concentration

This is an update to my last post, where I suggested 10 Ways to Train Your Brain to help get rid of brain fog and distraction. I said I’d post an update every day, and uh…. Obviously I haven’t been doing that. Sorry guys! Grad school has been kicking my butt lately.

The good news is I’ve been trying some alternative ways to train my brain that will also help me in my internship. For example, I have this shiny certificate of completion for 1.75 hours of training in Motivational Interviewing!

This doesn’t really mean I’m certified in MI, it just means I’ve some training on the basics. But I’m so excited to be able to start using what I’ve learned with my clients. Motivational Interviewing is really big both in the client-centered realm of counseling, and in substance use treatment. So going to trainings and completing certificates is something I’ve been doing in the last week to keep myself engaged with day to day life.

I have been trying Lumosity (the free version) a few days a week, and in some ways it’s helping. I really like the train game, where you have to reconstruct different areas of the track to direct trains to their correct stations. It’s supposed to train and test your working memory and your attentional focus. So far I’m not that great at it, but I hope to improve!

Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed a huge increase in my ability to pay extended attention to things without becoming foggy or tired. I’m starting to attribute these feelings to burn out. Working 60 hours weeks, worrying about clients, worrying about homework and evaluations, worrying about work performance, worrying about my cats and how disgusting my room is getting because I don’t have time to clean… It’s all getting to me. I’ve found that a bit of exercise (walking mostly) before bed helps with my sleep, so I’m trying to do that more. I’m hoping it will alleviate at least some of the stress I’m experiencing.

What about you guys? Do you guys have ways to sharpen your thinking skills? Do you experience burnout? How about your experiences with exercise, or Lumosity?

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