Brain fog can occur in a number ways, but for the most part it feels like your head that was once densely populated with intelligent nervous tissue now just feels like chewed gum. It shows itself when you’re at work and unable to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. Meetings, work tasks, and conversations with colleagues do not register clearly in your mind. You’ve downed your third cup of coffee this morning and you’re going through the same email repeatedly, having trouble making the smallest decisions. You may even experience problems with your vision, headaches, and some nausea.
Note that your brain health is not only crucial for your intellectual capacity, it also plays a major role in sustaining your emotional well-being. Being able to think clearly can help you feel good at any time of the day. Fortunately, anyone can beat brain fog by following a few strategies. If you want to regain mental clarity, focus, improved concentration, and overall happiness at work and at home, try our bulletproof tips for banishing brain fog once and for all.
- Control your sugar intake
Cut back on processed and packaged foods containing sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other harmful ingredients to reduce brain fog. Sugar may make you feel energetic right after consumption, but it zaps your energy and focus in the long-term, making you feel lethargic before it is even midday.
Having said that, going too low isn’t the way to go either. Instead of getting your carbs from sugar and other starchy foods, search for healthy sources of complex carbs such as oats, fruit, vegetables, lentils and nuts. Complex carbohydrates have the opposite effect on the body to refined sugars. They give you a steady stream of energy that will last throughout the day. Furthermore, most sources of complex carbs are also packed with brain-boosting antioxidants that fight oxidative stress, boost emotional well-being, and abate brain damage.
- Stay hydrated
If you’re feeling drowsy and a lack of clarity, drink a glass of water as soon as you detect it. Brain fog and lethargy are among the most common symptoms of dehydration. Always makes sure to drink the recommended daily amount of water – two liters or six 8-ounce glasses.
- Take brain-boosting supplements
Consider taking nootropics which are especially designed to boost mental performance and acuity. Nootropics often contain an array of natural plant-based extracts, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and compounds that are designed to boost performance, productivity, creativity, problem solving, and decision-making ability.
- Get some fresh air and sunlight
Nothing beatings cracking open a window or stepping outside to simply breathe in some fresh air for a few minutes. Breathe in deeply to allow more oxygen to enter your body and brain. Just a couple of deep breaths through the nose and exhales through the mouth can provide you with a significant mental lift.
- Are you eating too much, too often?
Consider extending the time between dinner and the first meal of your next day. Try maintaining a 12 hour gap. This process is called intermittent fasting, which can help boost physical and neurological health.
- Say no to MSG
Create a habit of reading food labels and avoid products with MSG at all costs. MSG can be a major contributor to brain fog and other symptoms of neurological dysfunction.
- Start moving more
Alzheimer’s, dementia, other neurodegenerative disorders and even mild cases of cognitive impairment (such as brain fog) are more common among sedentary workers than more active individuals. Have a 9 to 5 desk job? Consider increasing activity levels after work and squeezing in more standing time at work to boost mental activity levels, sharpen mental acuity, elevate your mood, and boost your memory and concentration. Physical activity releases chemical messengers called cytokines and endorphins that heighten positive feelings. These chemicals submerge your brain with rejuvenating nutrients, thereby boosting its performance significantly.
- Take melatonin
According to one study, participants who took 10mg of melatonin showed substantial improvements in Alzheimer’s type symptoms, along with better sleep and relief from stress and depression.
- Treat yourself
Keep a small piece of dark chocolate with you to give you a kick anytime you feel you’re not functioning optimally. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and has feel-good properties on the brain, which sometimes can be sufficient to beat mental fog for the day.
Balance physical activity with active tune-ins via meditation, yoga, stress-relieving activities, and plenty of sleep. Your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, whether you’re running from danger or running for exercise. Physical activity stimulates the sympathetic nervous system of your body – primarily responsible for “fight or flight” responses. Stimulate your parasympathetic system, also called your “rest and digest” system, by performing at least five minutes of meditation every day. Calming your body and mind helps brain fog subside. This also includes getting seven hours of sleep every day. Instead of sacrificing sleep for your work, consider improving the quality of your work by getting more sleep.