The Hidden Cause Behind Low Concentration

The Hidden Cause Behind Low Concentration

Namaste, I am Kanika Ayurveda physician and today let’s see what is concentration and what is the hidden factor behind the lack of concentration. 
According to Ayurveda, there are three factors to understand anything. 
Dhi means grasping. 
Dhriti means retention and Smriti means memory. 
Out of all these three steps – Dhi or grasping is a factor to concentration because you cannot understand anything or internalize it when you are not focused. 

What is Concentration?

The word “concentration” in Sanskrit means ekagrata and this word has a very beautiful meaning.  It has two words in it – Ek means one and Agra means front. 
That means if you want to concentrate on anything you should have a single front, you should have a single focus, just like an arrow
Let’s take the example of light, when it is diffused, it has no power. But the same light, when amplified into the same wavelength, becomes a laser. And this laser can cut the hardest of the things in the world, it can cut even diamonds. 
And this is what we can do with our thought process. If we can aline our thoughts in one single direction just like a magnet, we can have a laser-sharp concentration 
But normally we do not have that. Normally we have lots of thoughts running in our minds but why do we have so many thoughts running in our minds? 

Here, We can find a hidden but the most crucial reason for lack of concentration which is stress. 

The Hidden Cause Behind Low Concentration

According to multiple scientific researches, stress is the single biggest factor that can cause a loss in sustainable concentration and this is because stress can actually damage our brain cells which can help us to focus and concentrate. let’s see how 

The Stress Hormone

We have a special stress hormone inside our body – serum cortisol and whenever we are stressed, the level of this hormone increases in the blood. What this hormone does is to suppress all normal body functions and prepare our body for emergency conditions. You see, this hormone can hinder the maturation process of neurons and when the neurons do not mature properly then you definitely will have less cells to concentrate with.
Let’s see what serum cortisol does to the brain cells. 

Stress hinders making of new brain cells

There are a lot of stem cells inside the brain and these cells mature into two kinds of cells – neurons and axons. 
Neurons are the main functioning cells that process the information and axons are the like. 
You know, we can compare neurons to the computer and axons are the wires of the computer. So in the brain, we have two kinds of things – we have computers and the wires connecting the computer.
Under the stress hormone, most of the stem cells mature not into neurons but into axons. 

So, if you are stressed you will have more wires inside your brain than the computers and definitely it will lead to lower concentration, lower learning ability, and loss of memory as well. 

And it does not happen only in infancy. This is a myth which has been busted by recent scientific experiment. You can develop immature neurons even as an adult.

Stress makes body environment unsuitable for normal brain functioning

Chronic stress makes us more prone to anxiety, mood swings, and these mood swings and anxiety result in low concentration.
Stress hormone affects all the systems in the body – the digestive system, excretory system, skin, everywhere. 
It is very important to note that no single organ or system works inside the body as a single separate entity. 
Everything is connected and therefore neurons very much depend on the good performance of the digestive system, excretory system, immunity and so one and so forth.  
When you are stressed, when your body is under the effect of stress hormone all these systems, 
all the systems of the body are suppressed. So you will not have good digestion, you will not be able to absorb proper nutrition, you will have a build-up of toxins in your body because the excretory system is not functioning properly
; and all this builds up into early cell death, early neuron that in the body. This makes of an environment in which neurons cannot function properly and therefore low concentration.

Stress triggers early cell death

Stress can trigger another very important process in the body – cell oxidation. Cell oxidation is a natural process by which the body removes old and aging.
However, if the rate of cell oxidation is accelerated then even the new cells will start to die and this is what happens under stress.
Stress already has led to immature neuron growth in the body, but on the other hand, it also kills the neurons which already there and functioning. 
And therefore, stress causes lack of concentration in two ways, first of all, it hinders the maturation of neurons which are capable of concentration and on the other hand, it kills neurons, it induces early death in neuron because of oxidative stress.
Besides, it produces an overall environment in which the neurons cannot function properly. 
Chronic stress does not affect only concentration. In the long run, it can also cause severe mental disorders like Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and so on. 

How Stress Affects Brain Cells

Unfortunately, even infants are stressed today. According to many scientific studies, high levels of stress during pregnancy can lead to concentration-related disorders in children like ADHD.

Ayurveda on Stress

Now let’s see what Ayurveda says about stress. According to Ayurveda, the mind is the source of the body. So, everything basically emerges from the mind. It is like a projector and the body is the projection of the mind. 
According to Ayurveda, there three mental patterns – Sattva or balance, Raja or hyperactivity, and Tamas or inactivity. 
When mind undergoes Rajo guna then it becomes hyperactive and this hyperactivity descends to the physical body

One subtype of vata dosha -prana vayu controls intelligence. 
Negative emotions like mental unrest or stress (anavasthit chitta), anxiety (chinta), fear (bhaya) can lead to an imbalance in vata dosha. 
This imbalanced vata dosha in-turn contributes to a lack of concentration.
Vata has a wasting effect on the body and as the previous studies reflect, an imbalance in vata dosha leads to gradual wasting all over the body including the neurons.

So, the low rate of maturation or the early wasting effect of neurons is basically a result of mental hyperactivity or stress.
In this context, it becomes very important to note that stress causes neurodegeneration and this neurodegeneration leads to lack of concentration.

So, basically, the mind affects the body, and the body in turn leads to another effect on the mind. This may become a vicious cycle because low concentration can trigger more stress in a person which in turn will lead to even lower levels of concentration.

And therefore, we see that stress is the basic, the most fundamental cause for lack of concentration. It’s not anything else. According to Ayurveda, the permanent cure for any disease lies in the removal of the cause. 
Without removing the cause, you can actually never reach a permanent state of health and this applies to the lack of concentration as well,
because if you have lack of concentration and if you do not remove the fundamentals factor stress behind this lack of concentration then you will never reach a permanent level of high concentrations 

And this is the reason why most of the medicines whether they are allopathic or Ayurvedic, fail to have any permanent result in case of low concentration because the problem is not physical. 
It is mental and no mental problem can be treated by a physical solution. 

But there are ways to achieve concentration. 
And there are two ways to achieve anything – The right one and the wrong one and the same goes for concentration as well. 

You can be the highly focused when you are in a natural, peaceful state of mind 
or when a mad dog chasing you.
So, a highly relaxed state of mind or a mind in the emergency mode, both result in the same thing – high levels of concentration. 
However, their effects on the body are very different.

In the coming videos, let’s explore what are some of the methods to achieve concentration and what are their effects on the body.
Till then, namaste and thank you for reading!

Relevant Scientific Research Links

Chronic stress has the ability to flip a switch in stem cells that turns them into a type of cell that inhibits connections to the prefrontal cortex, which would improve learning and memory, but lays down a durable scaffolding linked to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Stress Hormone

Oxidative Stress

Stress in Pregnancy

My Article on Stress


General Ayurveda Dietary Plan

According to the ethics of Ayurveda, a Vaidya(Ayurveda physician) should not charge for medical advice but only for medicines. I personally believe that no sick person should be forced to pay for medical advice. If you opt for free consultation, please go through the following steps –


According to Ayurveda, without removing the root cause of the diseases, you can never reach a permanent cure. Most of the time wrong diet, lifestyle habits and stress is the cause.

Here are some steps that can help you to remove most of the root causes. I request you to implement the advice given in the free resource as a first step towards Ayurvedic treatment. More than 80% of your health problems will disappear once the recommended Ayurvedic daily and seasonal routine is already in place.

In some places, I have recommended fruits, ghee and organic food. However, even if you are not able to afford them, it is perfectly fine. Please practice mindful eating in whatever you eat, because energy that comes from vigyanamaya kosha (seat of wisdom) or anandamaya kosha (seat of bliss) is what keeps us alive and you can be healthy without any fancy food.

In fact, not eating can make you healthier. Fasting has most amazing benefits, including cancer prevention.

Correct The Diet

  1. Try to eat only when hungry, unless you are very weak, or thin. This is a crucial advice for patients of all lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension etc. For detailed explanation –
    1. How much you need to eat
    2. Eat Healthy, Eat Less
  2. Fast at least once a week.
    1. Fasting Guidelines
    2. Fasting Recommendations for Ramadan
    3. My Fasting Experiments
      1. Sinusitis Relief with Dry Fasting
      2. Relief in Dental Pain with Dry Fasting
      3. Don’t stop fasting suddenly
  3. Go dinnerless (on the days when you are not fasting). This method works miracles in all kinds of Kapha related disorders like rhinitis, common cold, cough, sinusitis, tonsilitis etc. I personally practice this and it has helped me improve my health
    1. Guidelines.
  4. Ayurvedic Cooking Tips
    1. Rice
    2. Moong Dal
  5. Eat Healthy
    1. Go organic if possible
    2. Never eat these foods
    3. Best Foods in Ayurveda
    4. Eat these only in a tiny amount everyday
    5. Eat these rarely
    6. About non-vegetarian diet
  6. How to Deal with Anorexia
    1. Anorexia in Ayurveda
    2. Ayurvedic Tips for Anorexia
  7. How to Deal with Constipation
    1. Ushapaan : Daily Ayurvedic Water Detox for beginners
    2. Understanding Constipation through Ayurveda
    3. Food for constipation (coming soon)

I will soon add more resources in this section. Please let me know if you want any specific topic to be covered.

I sincerely pray for your early recovery. Best wishes!

Why Home Remedies Don’t Work, and How to Safely Try Unknown Home Remedies!

Now-a-days there are so many Ayurvedic remedies available online, you see, for example – 5 tips for weight gain, 5 tips for weight loss or 7 tips for headache and so on and so forth.

However, these home remedies fail to produce identical results in all kinds of people. Some people may experience a huge relief; however there might be other who might feel no difference at all. And have you ever wondered- why is that so?

The people who follow Ayurvedic home remedies remind me of a friend who used to mug up all the answers in the text book exactly in the same sequence and she would reproduce these answers exactly in the same sequence in the question paper also. However, in the question paper the sequence will be changed and all her answers will always be wrong. And she would always be so confused “why is this happening?”

You see, home remedies work exactly in the same manner if you don’t know why you are doing them. If you don’t know what fits and what does not and this is what happens with the people who don’t know what their body needs.

You see, applicability is a huge factor here.  One home remedy which might work in a great way for some other person might not be applicable to you, because you might have a different body type or you stay in a different region or you have a different climate or currently there is a different season, or you have a different digestive capacity, there can be so many factors at work. Our body is such a complex dynamic metabolic system and it is so disrespectful of our uniqueness to expect exactly the same result from a same home remedy.

Some of the factors are –

    • Vata Dominant
      • Hot and Oily Herbs
    • Pitta Dominant
      • Cool and Sweet Herbs
    • Kapha Dominant
      • Hot and Dry Herbs
    • Ayurveda describes 3 Major types of REGIONS
      • Anoop (Wet Lands)
      • Jangalya (Dry Lands)
      • Sadharan (Normal Land)
    • Climatic cycle defines local seasons and weather conditions
    • That’s why, summer in a desert is different from that in a mountain.
    • Herbs grown in the local climate are the best for the natives.
    • Classical Ayurvedic Remedies change according to Seasonal Variations.
Ritu Haritaki (Seasonal Combination of Chebulic myrobalan)


Digestion determines the real benefits of herbal Remedies.

Haritaki (Chebulic myrobalan) is a wonder herb! However a person with INDIGESTION must never consume it.

Even your faith in the home remedy can bring about a drastic change in the results. No one today can deny the impact of placebo in the field of medicine. And if you have a huge faith in a home remedy, you might get incredible results from it even if it does not suit you and that’s why the Bhabhuti given by a sage works!


In my school, before every exam the examiner will announce” please read the question paper carefully” and it will also be written on the question paper because if we don’t read the question carefully, we will not answer the question, but will just vomit out what it there in our own mind.

When we know our health condition, when we know our body and what it needs , we have read the question properly and this is the right time to answer.    

Now you cannot go exploring your body when you are reeling with pain. I quite understand that. And therefore, there is a method to try unknown home remedies, if you must.


Upshay is an Ayurvedic dosage technique where the patient is given a very small dose, let’s says one fourth or one tenth of the actual required quantity and kept under observation for some time. If he feels relief, the medicine fits otherwise it does not.  Plain and simple, we cannot profess to understand everything about the body!

For a Vaidya (Ayurveda physician), this method is a great tool for differential diagnosis as well.  It helps to determine or verify the exact Dosha situation in the body. Besides, this method of using minimum dosage also protects you from sudden and harsh allergic reactions, as this method gives ample time to the body to adjust its response.

Therefore, as a lay man, if you must use a home remedy in an emergency, try to use it in very small dosage and observe the response for some time, it can be one hour or  a day, depending on your convenience and then decide to use it for a longer duration.    

I hope that this information helps you to choose your best home remedy.

Other interesting articles

How to Choose Herbal Remedies

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