It starts at a trivial scale – with you forgetting where you parked your car, what you had for lunch, missing the house keys, leaving the lights on while moving out, etc. No big deal, happens once in a while to everyone. Only in your case, it seems to be happening all the time. Brain Fog has become a common complaint lately – increasing number of people now report inability to concentrate on anything for long – work, conversations, home chores, or even on what they are reading at any given moment. In more severe cases, brain fog may cause headaches, vision problems or even nausea.
What Your Foggy Brain Wants You to Know and Do
#1 You are FEEDING only your BELLY, not BRAIN: Obesity increases the likelihood of cognitive decline, meaning you should eat to build mental muscle and not just satisfy your palate.
The cure: Super foods such as walnuts, fish, green leafy vegetables, and even dark chocolate (yay!) help in boosting brain power by increasing the level of iron in blood, thereby also reducing stress and fatigue. Win-win.
#2 ONE TASK at a time please! If you are a multi-tasker juggling home, office, and personal chores at breakneck speed day after day, your brain could be yearning for a respite. In this case, it’s your habit of dealing with an overflowing to-do list that is causing brain fog, and not some internal physical issue.
The cure: Delegate your non-core personal and professional tasks. Be it managing and scheduling appointments, making presentations, email and document management, administrative tasks, or handling personal tasks such as grocery shopping, home cleaning, babysitting, etc – hiring a virtual assistant can take care of all these and more.
#3 (Sorry there is no other way to say this) You’re getting OLD! Midlife brain fog may be a sign that you are nearing menopause. Just like pregnancy brain – a condition characterized by forgetfulness triggered by pregnancy related hormonal changes, brain fog experienced by women in the age group of 40 to 60 years is linked to oscillating and gradually declining oestrogen levels.
The cure: Contact your doctor who will likely prescribe the right supplements to take care of memory and other symptoms that you may be experiencing around this time.
#4 Give Stress a BREAK! For most busy professionals, brain fog is a result of chronic stress and fatigue. Their symptoms include forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, moving joint and muscle pain, headache, disturbed sleep, and extreme tiredness.
The cure: Train your brain to truly relax – engage in deep breathing exercises, take vacations even if you have to force yourself to do it, try yoga or meditation, and consciously make yourself happy – life’s stresses will never cease but you can certainly get smarter dealing with them.
#5 Your MOOD swings are not trivial: It is not always just a stressful day or lack of sleep. Studies show that people who suffer from clinical depression report a significant degree of brain fog and fatigue that goes with their mood changes.
The cure: It is important to take clinical depression seriously and get it treated in time. Other than medications and therapies for treating depression, one can resort to alternate healing practices, yoga and meditation, supplementation and making lifestyle changes.