The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you’re even doing there?
Brain fog has many symptoms, from feeling confused and experiencing memory loss to difficulty with recall and being easily distracted. Brain fog can strike at any time during the work day or at home, sometimes making it hard to get through the day.
It’s normal to forget things as we age, and maybe we can’t instantly recall the name of a movie or book. Younger people can also experience the negative effects of brain fog. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve one’s lifestyle and reduce incidences of brain fog and feeling fuzzy.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the simple steps you can take to enhance your mental clarity and help reduce brain fog.
Table of Contents
Stay On Top Of Your Mental And Physical Health
There are many reasons why you may be experiencing brain fog or having difficulty concentrating. Some people have reported feeling lingering brain fog after COVID-19. No matter your recent health issues or age, it’s important to speak with your doctor or therapist about your symptoms if they become disruptive or unmanageable.
You may also want to look at options like online therapy, which can offer more flexibility over traditional in-person therapy. Whatever steps you take, know that help is out there. You don’t have to work through this alone.
Boost Your Brain By Eating The Right Foods
There’s evidence that junk foods are linked to increases in brain fog and inflammation. According to experts, avoiding sugar and fried foods can help lessen brain fog. When you eat too much sugar, it can lead to your brain having too much glucose. While fried foods have been shown to have a negative effect on memory and learning in studies.
In addition to avoiding fried foods and too much sugar, experts recommend eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and luteolin. Some of the best veggies include cabbage, celery, and peppers.
Apples, kiwi fruit and herbs like mint and parsley are also good sources of vitamins that can positively affect your brain.
Spend Time Outdoors To Beat Brain Fog
The positive link between being outdoors and improved mental well-being has been widely proven in studies. According to the American Psychological Association, time spent in nature is connected to improvements in mood and cognitive performance.
Some of those good results could be due to the increased production of vitamin D in the body when you’re out in the sun because vitamin D plays an important role in brain health. Some research shows that higher levels of vitamin D have been linked to lower rates of mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
So get out in the sunshine, and find more ways to get out into nature. Even walking outside for 10 or 15 minutes a day can boost your brain health.
Take Action To Manage Your Stress Levels
Everyone feels stressed at some point, but it can derail your day when the symptoms of stress take hold. Pay attention when stress is starting to feel overwhelming, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a doctor or explore meeting with a therapist online.
When the stress levels begin to mount, lean on effective techniques like breathwork, yoga and meditation to calm the symptoms in your body. Taking even five minutes to meditate or do a breathing exercise can help you feel more in control.
Keep A Close Eye On Hydration Levels
Did you know that being mildly dehydrated can affect your mood? According to one University of Connecticut study, being even slightly dehydrated can lead to problems with concentration, fatigue, and headaches.
In the study, mild dehydration was defined as a 1.5% loss in bodily water volume, which can easily occur during normal daily activities. The study also found that women were more prone to feeling the negative mental effects of dehydration.
Experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day, which adds up to about two litres. Try filling a two-litre water bottle in the morning, so you can keep track of your water intake and better prevent the negative mental effects that come with dehydration. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest possible ways to help prevent brain fog.
Take Breaks To Help Your Brain Work Better
Being able to function and complete tasks requires cognitive ability, which can be diminished by overwork. Taking short breaks throughout the day can help your brain run more efficiently, according to Cleveland Clinic neuropsychologist ShehrooPudumjee, PhD.
When your brain is running more efficiently, you have more processing power to complete tasks requiring attention and brain power. So, try taking more frequent breaks throughout the day to refresh.
Sleep Your Way To Better Brain Function
Have you ever woken up in the morning after not getting much sleep and felt like you got hit by a truck? It’s almost like your body is telling you, “I need more rest”.
Too often brain fog can be tied to sleep deficiencies, and it’s important to address possible sleep issues when seeking to improve brain function and mental clarity. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve the quality and quantity of our sleep.
Examine your device usage, exposure to blue light often plays a role in sleep issues. Look at the quality of your nightly sleep routine, interruptions caused by pets, eating habits and stress. Changing your habits can often help improve your sleeping patterns.
Your brain can feel tired like everything else in your body. If you’ve been experiencing brain fog and forgetfulness, don’t give up hope of finding new ways to bring more mental clarity into your life. Find ways to put these useful strategies into action, and don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and explore online therapy options.
Is Brain Fog The Same As Anxiety?
No, brain fog isn’t a medical term, it’s a slang term for a group of memory and cognitive problems that include feeling fuzzy, having difficulty with recall, confusion, and feeling distracted. While anxiety disorder is a diagnosable condition according to the American Psychiatric Association. In certain cases, brain fog may be viewed as a symptom of anxiety disorder.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Causes Of Brain Fog?
Brain fog is sometimes used to describe brain inflammation and is linked to a number of conditions that affect physical and mental health. Asthma, allergies, stress, depression, sleep deprivation and insomnia, cancer treatments, and hormonal changes have all been connected to instances of brain fog.