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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 mind.

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