What Is Brain Fog?
It is that sense that you just can't quite think straight.
You can't concentrate, or perhaps can't even figure out what
you need to be concentrating on. You stare at the paper in front
of you or at the job you need to do. Thoughts are swirling in
your head, perhaps, but they aren't organized or helpful. What
can you do about this brain fog? Here are a few quick tips, and
then a couple powerful techniques to try.
Take a walk if you have time. I am convinced that the research
will eventually show this to be one of the best things you can
do to improve the quality of your thinking. But don't wait for
the proof. Walking has enough other health benefits anyhow.
Clear space helps prevent a foggy brain. Some of you may disagree,
but it's rare that a person can work better in clutter. At the
very least, an organized office or home means you won't have
the thought "where is that..." distracting your mind.
Avoid sugar. If you want to understand the concept of brain
fog, eat sugary cake on an empty stomach, then try to do math
problems twenty minutes later. I think you'll get the point.
They call this the "sugar blues." (A large plate of
pasta can have the same effect - avoid eating too many simple
carbohydrates of any kind.)
Get more or better sleep. Sleep requirements vary, but the
bare minimum for most people is somewhere around five hours,
and many of us suffer if we sleep less than eight. Some research
indicates that after a minimum quantity, the quality of sleep
is more important than the quantity for normal brain function.
Avoid boredom. When it is difficult to concentrate because
you are bored with what you are working on, you need to stop
and consider why it is important (if it is). When you see the
benefits clearly it is usually easier to concentrate.
Brain Fog Relieving Techniques
There are other causes of brain fog, but stress and worry
are often to blame, so how do you take care of these in order
to start thinking more efficiently once again? Try a simple stress
reliever first. Just close your eyes and take several deep breaths
through your nose. Let the tension run out of your muscles as
you do this, and try to pay attention to your breath, so other
thoughts can slip away.
If that doesn't get rid of your brain fog, you need to try
a more involved mindfulness exercise. It will take just minutes,
and will work better the more you use it. You basically just
stop what you are doing and watch your own thoughts and feelings.
With practice you will start to identify the thoughts that are
running on just below consciousness and sapping your concentration.
Once you identify these energy-wasters, you need to do something
about them. If it is a worry about a loved one, for example,
you could call him to see if things are okay, or you could just
make a note on your calendar to visit him. The idea is that if
you either directly resolve the issue or "categorize"
it, you will be able to drop it. This may work even if all you
can do is tell yourself "I can't do anything about this
until Tuesday." By saying so, you give your mind permission
to drop the thought for now.
You see, when you start working on something, concentration
is automatic - until you are distracted by your surroundings
or your own thoughts. That may be every few seconds for some
of us, but using the tips above and the simple exercises, you
can learn to remove the distractions, control your wandering