How many of us have walked into a room unable to remember what we needed to do? Read an email for work and realized that we have not absorbed any of the words? Or were unable to concentrate and focus on anything? Need a brain fog fix? Read on …
Brain Fog Fix: 9 Ways To See The Sunshine Again
Those moments are only transitory, and we often go back to our normal selves, but for many, that state of mind persists for hours and sometimes days. The state of feeling like your mind is not clear; there is just “something” stopping you from thinking right, from remembering and concentrating well. As if there was a layer of fog surrounding your brain, stopping you from thinking clearly. This condition is known as “brain fog.”
How Is Brain Fog Formed?
While “brain fog” is a term commonly used, it is not technically a medical condition but rather a symptom you experience from an underlying medical condition such as fever, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, stress, anxiety, and depression .
It could also be due to certain medications such as chemotherapies . Brain fog is a state of mind where the person cannot concentrate or multitask, or when he is experiencing memory loss and cannot reason well.
If you find yourself experiencing brain fog, do not worry, the sun will always shine through. Here are nine things you can do to help you clear the fog away.
1. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Stress and physical exhaustion ultimately lead to mental weariness and eventually a brain fog. Sleep deprivation can cause brain fog and aggravate already existing ones.
If you are experiencing brain fog, make sure to get plenty of rest and sleep for at least 8 hours.
No matter how occupied or overwhelmed you are, it would help if you did not cut down on your sleeping time. Make sure not to drink caffeinated drinks after 5-6 pm and aim to sleep before midnight to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. More sleep tips here.
2. Get Moving
You are probably tired of people telling you to exercise, but exercising can significantly benefit your mental health .
Pick any exercise you like and de-stress.
Do you like dancing? Start your favorite song and dance around the house. Swim, run, jog, walk, hit the gym, do any form of exercise you are comfortable with but get moving. Best exercise equipment for us older folk.
Exercising has been proven to help with anxiety and stress, and while it might feel torturous at first, you will soon find yourself wanting to exercise to release all the stress and tension. Healthy sweating can clean up a foggy brain.
3. Slow Down
No one actively pursues stress; stress sneaks up on you. It grows, occupies your mind, and extends the fog space in your brain.
We are living a fast-paced life. If you are a student, you are probably overwhelmed with assignments and exams. If you are an employee, you are probably stressed over deadlines, bills, and many other things.
When you find yourself stressed and mentally tired, slow down. Take a deep breath, and in addition to sleeping well and exercising, do something you enjoy -Anything that takes the stress off your mind.
It could be reading, cooking, baking, knitting, DIY projects, coloring, building things, etc. Find an activity you genuinely enjoy doing and do it for yourself and yourself only, even if it is just for 15 minutes a day.
4. Feed Yourself And Your Brain Well
Many studies found that diet directly affects a person's mood and stress levels. A poor diet will eventually lead to an unhealthy brain state.
Mediterranean diet, one of the world's healthiest diets, was found to promote physical and mental health .
It is rich in veggies, legumes, olive oil, beans, eggs, and a low meat intake. Feed your body well, increase your veggies intake, eat more beans, eggs, and fruits.
Read more about supplements to enhance brain function.
If you are not drinking enough water throughout the day, you may be unknowingly experiencing dehydration which can cause headaches, confusion, and irritability. These are all pushing the foggy state of your brain.
Make sure to drink at least 2-4 liters a day. If you tend to forget to drink water, set up hourly reminders on your phone or download apps that remind you to drink.
6. Check On Your Hormones
For women, hormonal changes occur during pregnancy, menopause, ovulation, and menstruation. These hormonal fluctuations could cause brain fog .
As for men, low testosterone has been associated with cognitive issues often referred to as “brain fog” .
While it is normal to experience brain fog due to hormonal changes, if you feel like your brain fog lasts longer than usual or affects your lifestyle, please visit your healthcare provider. Some medication could be needed to bring hormone balance and help to relieve brain fog.
Meditation can induce a clear state of mind. In addition, numerous studies have found that meditation alleviates stress and anxiety.
Think of meditation as a stress-reduction break—a break where you calm down not only your body but your mind as well.
There are various meditation techniques such as guided meditation, mantra meditation, tai chi, and mindfulness meditation.
All of these techniques will help you clear your chaotic thoughts. Find the meditation program that works best for you; there are plenty of 5-10 minutes videos on YouTube that guide and help you through meditation.
8. Avoid Alcohol And Smoking
Although it is hard to avoid drinking at parties or after a long day at work, try to cut down your alcohol consumption slowly. Research showed that long-term drinking alters the brain's chemistry, making it more reactive to stress .
And when you are tempted to relieve your stress by smoking a cigarette, remember that although nicotine induces an immediate sense of relaxation, this feeling of relaxation is only temporary. Nicotine can worsen anxiety and brain fog in the long run .
9. Put Your Phone Down
Take a break from your phone, tablet, or any digital screen.
While you may not immediately experience the effects of staring at a bright screen for hours a day, scrolling on your phone for hours without taking a break might be taking a toll on you. Research shows that blue lights from digital devices can delay the circadian clock, suppress melatonin secretion, and result in poor sleep quality .
Try to minimize your screen time and use that time to meditate, exercise, and clear your brain fog.
Brain Fog Fix: Summing Up
Brain fog can badly interfere with your daily life. You might find it hard to concentrate, remember, or even have trouble formulating sentences.
To clear your brain, maintain a healthy plant-based diet, stay hydrated, sleep well, exercise, meditate, quit smoking and excessive drinking, and remember to take it easy on yourself and slow down.
Try to avoid stress since stress and anxiety could cause or aggravate brain fog.
If you tried many lifestyle changes and are still experiencing brain fog, please see a healthcare professional as there might be an underlying medical condition.