If it wasn’t written down – it wasn’t going to happen – because I wasn’t going to remember it. Or I’d be in the middle of a conversation and my brain would suddenly short circuit and I couldn’t remember a word. I went from feeling sharp to feeling like I was trying to walk through mud. Brain fog is undeniably frustrating: you know you can do exceptional work, but having no mental clarity can feel like running in slow motion. On top of that, getting flustered can aggravate the symptoms, thus repeating the cycle.
Brain fog can make a person feel as if the processes of thinking, understanding, and remembering are not working as they should. It can affect their: memory, including the ability to store and recall information. I hear the women I work with describe it as a symptom they associate with stress, overwork and simply being tired.
Hormonal changes can also trigger brain fog. A shift in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. A drop of estrogen during menopause and similarly the unbalanced thyroid can all be associated with forgetfulness, poor concentration, and cloudy thinking.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be permanent. By taking the right steps, you can reverse the symptoms to find a clear mind again.
Here are my top 5 recommendations to thinking clearly again:
– Have a consistent time when you go to sleep and wake up. When we wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day, the quality of our sleep can improve, and help us to feel inspired, invigorated and alert throughout the day
– Move for about 30 minutes daily. This includes working out or even just going for a walk. When we let our bodies become stagnant, we put our brains at risk for becoming stagnant as well.
– Stay Hydrated. Your brain is 73% water, and according to a study at the University of Connecticut, even a 1% dehydration level can impair cognitive function.
– Add Essential Fatty Acids to your diet. Fish oils with EPA & DHA are critical for normal brain function and development throughout all stages of life. A notable five-year observational study, published online in Neurology May 4, 2016, found that older adults who ate at least one seafood meal per week performed better on thinking skills tests during the study period than people who ate less than one seafood meal per week.
– Remove Inflammatory Foods: Inflammation in the body can be caused by what you eat. Stay away from deep fried foods, sugar, and processed foods. It might be worth looking into Food Allergy or Sensitivity Tests to identify culprit foods. One other way to do this without a test is to eliminate key culprits like: diary, gluten, nuts, yeast, eggs, and soy for 2 weeks and then reintroduce them one at a time – spaced out – diary gets reintroduced in week 1, gluten week 2, nuts week 3 and so on and see if you notice a difference.
I encourage you to not ignore this symptom. Just because it’s common does not mean it’s normal and if left untreated it can really impact the quality of your life and perhaps your longer term mental health. Treatment of an underlying root cause such as hormonal imbalance or food sensitivity can increase the odds of a fog-free life for you.
Think this might be you? Interested in exploring this further? Send me an email with your questions…