How To Overcome Brain Fog
Sometimes the monotony of the daily routine, the lack of rest, the increased stress, or some other factors can make the brain of some people feel like a mismanaged search engine, with a lot of open tabs, some of them that do not respond, and music playing in a couple of them.
This overwhelming state of mind is what many know as brain fog, and it is a condition that has affected, at some point, a huge percentage of people worldwide, especially those with a heavy workload or responsibilities.
Brain fog causes can be diverse, as can the ways to address this condition. If you are looking for a bit of help to know how to overcome a foggy mind, this is the place for you! Fortunately, brain fog is entirely treatable.
In this article, you will understand the factors that could trigger a brain fog state of mind and discover the different ways to treat its symptoms. First of all, let's start by better understanding what this condition is about.
What is Brain Fog Syndrome?
Although brain fog is not a medical term, it is used to describe the feeling of confusion, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and total mental clarity that some people experience. People with brain fog may have trouble remembering things or concentrating on a thought or idea.
At the cellular level, scientists believe brain fog has a direct link to high levels of inflammation and unbalanced levels of hormones that determine your energy, focus, and mood. These hormonal imbalances can cause the entire system to go into a tailspin; consequently, patients begin to experience the symptoms mentioned above.
Anyone can experience brain fog, which usually occurs due to overwork, lack of sleep, increased stress, spending too much time on the computer, certain foods in your diet, or, in some cases, medication or medical condition.
Causes of Brain Fog
David Duncan, M.D., director of the Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, says, “Cognitive impairment, known as brain fog or cog-fog by patients, affects more than half of patients with multiple sclerosis during the course of their disease and that this in many cases can make it difficult for them to multitask, pay attention, understand conversations and remember.”
This argument validates the belief that brain fog might have a link to inflammation. However, several factors can generate brain fog in people.
Brain Fog From Anxiety
The relationship between brain fog and anxiety is complicated and can go both ways. As brain fog increases, so can anxiety. A 2019 study suggests that anxiety may impair cognitive processes, such as problem-solving, thinking, and decision-making.
These symptoms stemming from heightened anxiety could lead to confused thinking as the brain is so busy processing anxious thoughts that it has little room left for these other functions.
There can also be momentary episodes of brain fog caused by sudden anxiety-producing events in some people, such as witnessing an accident or any other anxiety-producing event.
This type of mental fog usually disappears when the cause of anxiety resolves. But, when the stress and fear associated with anxiety are constant, you may continually experience the fight, flight, or freeze response, which can result in persistent brain fog.
COVID Brain Fog
That's right; it seems that one of the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 could be brain fog. Most people are already aware of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
But some recovering from the infection have reported persistent side effects with possible neurological symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and dizziness.
Doctors across the country reported patients complaining of these symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, and trouble concentrating. According to neurologist Mitchell Elkind, the brain fog caused by COVID-19 could be a consequence of "molecular mimicry" that is common in patients with serious infectious diseases.
What happens is that the immune system recognizes the viral proteins, but some of the proteins in the brain are similar enough to those viral proteins.
Therefore, the immune system attacks the brain, and as a consequence, patients experiment cognitive deterioration that causes brain fog.
Electromagnetic Radiation (Computer, Mobile Phone, Tablets)
The electromagnetic waves generated by the different electronic devices we use today have a much more significant impact on people than most initially imagined.
The use of electronic devices by people of all ages has increased dramatically in the last decade, especially smartphones, tablets, and computers.
This is why scientists have been studying for some years the impact that exposure to radiation generated by Electromagnetic Fields or EMF could have on people's health, and the findings so far are a bit alarming.
The IARC recognizes the danger of exposure to electromagnetic fields and considers radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to be possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Different studies have found that exposure to RF-EMF near the cranial nervous system could generate various neurological effects, such as headaches, changes in sleep habits, EEG changes, tremors, dizziness, memory loss, lack of concentration or difficulty maintaining focus, which is basically the same symptoms as brain fog.
Stress (Reduces Blood Flow to the Brain - Causing Poor Memory)
Brain fog caused by stress is very similar to brain fog caused by anxiety. This is because, in principle, stress and anxiety are very similar.
The difference between stress and anxiety is that stress generally occurs due to stressors and pressure situations such as excessive workload or homework or deadlines to meet.
Anxiety is more of an emotional alert reaction to a threat that can originate without the necessary existence of stressful agents or situations. In a nutshell, stress usually has a cause or reason, while anxiety can stem from anxious thoughts that don't necessarily arise from a real problem.
Either way, excessive stress is one of the common causes of brain fog, as high-stress levels can cause vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction usually leads to reduced blood flow to the brain, which can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and other problems that interrupt daily activities.
These symptoms are what people commonly know as brain fog.
Lack of Sleep
Constant lack of sleep can tremendously harm health and lead to many other problems. In addition to one of its main symptoms, which is irritability, there is a study that suggests that lack of sleep interrupts the ability of our brain cells to communicate with each other.
This lack of sleep can cause temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception and a general inability to think clearly or remember things.
Lack of Exercise
When we spend too much time without physical activity, our bodies can become inactive, but we also risk our brains becoming inactive.
Consequently, we may begin to experience the symptoms of brain fog which could include difficulty sleeping, memory impairment, increased stress, and an inability to concentrate.
In contrast, constantly exercising is one of the best allies to combat mental fatigue. Some studies suggest that regular exercise could protect against neurodegeneration and improve neuroplasticity.
Diet (Amino Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants)
There is evidence from several studies suggesting that undereating or a poor diet could contribute to developing cognitive problems or experiencing brain fog.
Not eating enough or eating foods that are poor in nutrients could increase the chances of suffering from nutritional deficiencies that could cause or worsen brain fog.
This is because deficient levels of certain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, magnesium, iron, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids can cause cognitive problems that may even disrupt optimal brain function.
Toxins & Pollution
Environmental toxins and pollution, especially indoor pollution like mold, pollen, pet dander, and some cleaning products, may also negatively affect the brain and cognitive functions.
Smoke and other types of air pollution may contain dangerous toxins that can end up harming the human brain or increasing the risk of mental health disorders, including brain fog.
How to Identify Brain Fog Symptoms
Brain fog is much more common than many would initially believe, and anyone can have occasional moments of brain fog for several reasons. In fact, having occasional brain fog is entirely normal and can sometimes occur due to a simple cold, accumulated tiredness, or family stress.
Many people occasionally suffer from brain fog and don't realize it until it dissipates and they begin to feel and think better. The point is that, whatever the cause, the most important thing to be able to treat brain fog and be able to overcome it is knowing how to identify the symptoms.
Brain fog may not cause all of these symptoms at the same time. But, if you constantly suffer from several of these symptoms to the point that they disrupt your normal functioning or daily life, you may want to try to identify the cause so that you can start treating your brain fog from the source.
Brain fog symptoms may include the following.
Brain fog is not a diagnosis but a series of symptoms that can cause tremendous discomfort in people suffering from it. This collection of symptoms generally includes irritability or a very low tolerance for stressful situations.
Some people develop irritability that is usually related to one or more brain fog symptoms.
One of the most common symptoms of brain fog is forgetfulness and poor memory. In fact, it is one of the reasons why this series of symptoms receives this name.
For people who suffer from brain fog, it seems that memories are clouded or that a fog weakens mental sharpness and prevents easy recall of simple or seemingly apparent things that are easy to remember in a normal situation.
Lack of Concentration
Like forgetfulness, the inability to concentrate and maintain focus is one of the most obvious signs that someone is suffering from brain fog. Whether due to stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, or any other cause, lack of concentration can be a severe problem and can actually disrupt optimal functioning for some people.
Especially for those requiring a certain level of attention to carry out tasks in their daily life or work. If you lack concentration, it is best to try to identify what is taking up space in your mind and reducing your ability to retain information to start working on it.
Low/No Motivation - Lack of Interest
Mental fog, especially when it is recurrent, can cause a state of general demotivation in some people. Sometimes the symptoms that occur with brain fog can be so challenging to cope with that some people simply lose the will or interest in even trying to get over them.
For some, even the very idea of doing things that, in a healthy state, are a cause of great emotion may not seem attractive at all when suffering from brain fog.
In any case, trying not to get carried away by this lack of motivation is essential since this feeling can aggravate brain fog in an incredible way and even lead to the symptom we will mention below.
Feelings of Blah/Depression
It is usual for people with brain fog to experience negative feelings or thoughts and even moderate to severe episodes of depression in some cases.
Brain fog is a symptom of brain fatigue, and when the mind gets tired of trying without success, depression can be a widespread result.
But, as with the lack of motivation, it is crucial to try at least not to stay too long in these negative feelings and sensations and to identify the cause to eventually overcome the mental fog or the depression derived from it.
Issues with getting and staying asleep.
One of the biggest problems with brain fog is that many of its symptoms can easily become a cycle that can be difficult to break out of. In this sense, sleep problems are a perfect example of this since they can be both a cause and a symptom of brain fog.
It is common for people with brain fog to experience a lack of motivation or tiredness that makes them want to sleep, but when trying to rest, it is challenging for them to fall asleep or even stay asleep and enjoy a good rest.
We could interpret brain fog as an overload of the system, either due to an excess of mental load derived from stress or anxiety or due to a reduced capacity of cognitive functions derived from excessive tiredness, lack of sleep, increased inflammation, or any other generator. of cognitive impairment.
Whatever the cause, this mental overload very commonly generates headaches or migraines that, in some cases, can be unbearable and even disable people who suffer from it. If you experience headaches or migraines, a natural way to combat this symptom could be to add a little lion's mane to your daily routine.
Although some people wonder if lion's mane could cause headaches, the truth is that this could only happen in case you have NGF deficiency. In contrast, a 2014 study suggests that lion's mane is one of the best natural remedies for migraines with very few side effects.
Low Energy and Fatigue
The mental overload we are talking about can generally affect energy levels, causing a constant feeling of tiredness in people who suffer from brain fog.
These low energy levels and fatigue due to brain fog usually have nothing to do with physical activity but stem from mental exhaustion due to overthinking or, in the worst cases, the inability to think clearly and constantly try it.
Impaired Cognitive Function
Impaired cognitive function is basically what happens when people experience brain fog.
When this happens, cognitive functions that are typically simple, such as the simple act of thinking, the ability to learn, remember, pay attention, numerical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and decision-making can become highly complex tasks for people with brain fog.
It is common for people with brain fog to experience sudden mood swings since brain fog is usually accompanied or caused by imbalances in the hormones that regulate mood.
As a result, people can go from being relatively well to experiencing anger or feelings of sadness and negative thoughts from one moment to the next.
The most recommended is trying to recognize these sudden changes so that you can identify them and not get thoroughly carried away by them.
How to Overcome Brain Fog
Mental fog can become a real nuisance, and depending on its severity, it can seriously affect people's optimal performance in their daily lives.
Although there is no specific medication to treat mental fog since it is a set of symptoms and its causes are diverse, there are different habits that you can change or include in your daily routine to overcome this condition, depending on its cause.
Actions to Take to Overcome Brain Fog
What we know as brain fog is a complex condition, and that is why the way to treat it can be different from person to person. While it may be enough for some to add a little physical activity to their daily life, this may not be the best for others with mental fog from accumulated tiredness.
Either way, it's best to try to identify what's causing your brain fog and start working from there. It is easier to determine the best thing to do if you know what you are exactly dealing with.
With that said, here are some actions you can take to overcome brain fog.
Reduce Screen Time
Staying too long in front of the screen, be it the computer, television, tablet, or smartphone.
By reducing the time spent in front of screens, you also reduce the time of exposure to FMR radiation and therefore reduce the chances of experiencing any of the effects that this type of radiation could have on the human body.
Electronic devices, however technological they may be, generate electromagnetic waves that can have surprisingly harmful effects on human health, including several of the symptoms that contribute to brain fog.
So, reducing screen time could go a long way if you want to improve brain fog.
Make a Regular Sleep Schedule a Priority
Many people tend to underestimate how counterproductive not getting enough rest can be for your health and how important it can be to cultivate healthy sleeping habits.
In fact, one of the first actions experts recommend to improve brain fog is to prioritize a healthy sleep schedule, as getting enough rest can help reduce the mental exhaustion that brain fog often causes or causes.
If you feel like you're suffering from brain fog and want to do something to clear it, you'd be surprised what at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day could do for you.
Brain fog often has to do with poor blood circulation to the brain, and to improve this, a few minutes of exercise a day could be a helpful tool to get things moving literally.
Suppose you feel that you lack a bit of energy to get up from the chair and carry out an exercise routine. In that case, a little pre-workout lion's mane supplementation could come in handy.
One of the most notable effects of this fungus functional is an increased cardiovascular endurance, metabolism, higher energy levels, and a reduction in inflammation, which has a lot to do with brain fog.
Skip Drinking Coffee in the Afternoon
Although a freshly brewed cup of coffee can be excellent for that little boost of energy that we sometimes need in the morning, it may not be the same for the rest of the day. Sometimes drinking coffee after a particular hour can cause problems getting a good night's rest, especially in people with a high sensitivity to caffeine.
Additionally, drinking coffee in excess can cause what some know as a “caffeine crash,” which can generate the opposite effects of that energy boost that coffee generally provides and even incredibly worsen mental fog.
Taking this into account, skipping that cup of coffee we used to have in the afternoon can go a long way in overcoming brain fog.
Find Challenging & Enjoyable Activities
The brain is like a muscle; sometimes, a foggy brain just needs a little training or "fresh air" to clear the fog. Try to find activities that put your mind to work and that you can preferably enjoy.
Whether putting together puzzles, playing Scrabble or Pictionary with your friends or family, playing guessing games, doing some artistic activity such as drawing, painting, playing an instrument, or any other activity that you enjoy and puts your brain to work can be of great help to dispel the mental fog.
Sometimes our mind just needs a break from the routine or repetitive day-to-day activities to clear and feel refreshed.
How to Overcome Brain Fog from Anxiety
Anxiety may be one of the most common causes of brain fog. The actions we can take to address it, in addition to those already mentioned, include steps that reduce or eliminate anxiety-generating agents from our daily lives.
Without realizing it, we can often have certain habits that collaborate to increase anxiety levels instead of appeasing them. When we already suffer from brain fog and additionally add factors that increase anxiety, the result will most likely be an aggravated foggy mind.
To clear a brain fogged by anxiety, we can take some of the following actions.
Practice Mindfulness & Positive Thought
Trying to stay in the here and now and practicing a positive mindset can be vital to overcoming brain fog. One of the symptoms of brain fog itself is negativism and demotivation.
If we have this clear, it can be a little easier not to get carried away entirely by these types of thoughts, and in this sense, trying to maintain positive thoughts can be of great help.
Improve Your Diet
It's incredible how much a good diet can do for us in so many different ways. Having a good diet is not synonymous with eating a lot but instead paying attention to the nutritional value of our food.
It is crucial trying to maintain a balanced diet in which our body receives the nutrients and amount of calories necessary to keep our energy levels up and our hormone and vitamin levels in an optimal state.
It can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a nutritionist in most cases since each person is unique, and each body and metabolism requires specific levels of certain nutrients to function correctly.
The nutritional goal of each person is also fundamental since the diet for people trying to gain weight or muscle mass is not the same for people trying to lose weight or the diet necessary for people who lack some specific nutrients.
Whatever the cause of your brain fog, exercise can tremendously help overcome it. But physical activity is one of the most effective actions we can take when dealing with brain fog caused by high anxiety levels.
Exercise is therapeutic in many ways and can release dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These two neurotransmitters have a direct link to feelings of happiness and pleasure. Furthermore, exercise itself can be of great help to people who suffer from heightened anxiety and even panic attacks.
Amazing, right? So if you suffer from so much anxiety that your brain feels fogged or clogged, get out there and get things moving to get those clouds out of your mind.
You'll be amazed at how much better you can feel after finishing a little exercise routine or just walking for a while.
Avoid Alcohol & Smoking
Although alcohol or smoking can generate a sensation of momentary pleasure in some people, the constant, excessive, or chronic use of either of these two habits can have tremendously devastating effects on the general well-being of people.
For example, although many people claim that they smoke or drink because it helps them de-stress or reduce their anxiety, in the long run, both habits actually increase anxiety levels dramatically as the brain becomes dependent on these habits to "feel good" and when you don't, anxiety levels can skyrocket.
This is why to lead a healthy life in general. We recommend reducing alcohol consumption and smoking, or better yet, avoiding them completely.
Supplements To Combat Brain Fog
In addition to these actions that we recommend as a tool to help overcome brain fog, there are also a variety of supplements that can also be of great help on the way to our "mental decongestion."
Sometimes a little extra vitamin or the support of some functional mushrooms can do miracles for our general well-being. Here are some of the most beneficial supplements, vitamins, natural compounds, and functional mushrooms that could even be a foggy brain cure for some people.
Nonetheless, even though many of the benefits of these supplements are already proven by science, we must stress the importance of consulting an expert before adding any of these compounds to your diet or daily routine.
Every brain fog case requires specific solutions according to each patient's condition, needs, metabolism, and previous state of health.
With that said, these are some of the best brain fog supplements on the market.
L-theanine is popular as an anxiolytic agent as it promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by increasing serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels, resulting in a reduction in anxiety levels.
Anecdotal reports and research-based information suggest that lion's mane may improve symptoms of brain fog and migraines after just a few weeks of regular use. Users of this functional mushroom report that lion's mane supplementation may effectively treat brain fog caused by insomnia and Lyme disease.
Lion’s mane could also promote cognitive health by increasing nerve growth factor or NGF. The best time to take lion's mane to reap its benefits in brain fog is when it works best for each user. Considering that lion's mane usually increases energy levels, perhaps this time is in the morning or during the day.
However, the onset of the effects of lion's mane takes at least a couple of weeks to kick in. The important thing is to follow a constant supplementation and be patient since most functional mushrooms take a while to build up for you to start noticing significant changes.
Vitamin B Complex
B-complex vitamins play a vital role in the optimal functioning of various bodily functions, in the formation of red blood cells, and are essential for efficiently generating energy from the food you eat.
Vitamin B1 is a therapeutic agent for certain neuropathic conditions. Vitamin B2 helps convert food into energy.
Vitamin B3 helps the body's enzymes work properly by helping the body assimilate other types of B vitamins. Vitamin B5 promotes healthy skin and proper digestive system function. Vitamin B6 participates in the development of the brain and its functions since it helps in the formation of neurotransmitters.
In addition, it also participates in the function of the immune system. Vitamin B12 is important for protein metabolism, red blood cells, and DNA formation.
In conclusion, B vitamins can help in many ways to overcome brain fog by promoting the proper functioning of various bodily functions.
In addition to suppressing the onset of psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression, ginseng also prevents physiological diseases associated with stress.
In fact, there is evidence to suggest that ginseng may effectively regulate stress-induced hormonal changes and the immune response by maintaining homeostasis.
Fish oil contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, which are beneficial to the body in several ways. Especially oil from salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines may help improve brain function, vision, and motor skills.
Ginkgo Biloba Extract
Ginkgo biloba extract may promote improved cognitive function, increased energy, mood, and memory, and reduced symptoms related to various chronic diseases.
Ginkgo biloba extract has long been in the eye of researchers thanks to its effective antioxidant, circulation-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, platelet-forming effects and its possible ability to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Choline appears to be chemically related to the B group of vitamins. It plays a significant role in producing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which has a role in memory and muscle control. Choline is also crucial for the health of cell membranes.
Gamma oryzanol might promote restful sleep and mood relaxation. It has been shown to raise neurotransmitter levels in the central nervous system, thereby improving brain function.
Taking phosphatidylserine could improve some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia since it is part of the cell structure and is critical in maintaining cell function, especially in the brain.
In fact, it is an essential chemical with widespread functions throughout the body. Additionally, phosphatidylserine helps improve attention, thinking skills, impulse control, and hyperactivity in children and adolescents with ADHD.
Inositol helps produce healthy cells in the bone marrow and promotes the health of cell membranes or myelin sheaths. It is also important for hair growth and affects the nervous system and fat metabolism. As a curious fact, inositol was once considered just another member of the vitamin B complex.
Researcher data shows that soy lecithin may help improve brain function and may prevent dementia. It might also help improve liver function and reduce the risk of gallstones. Soy lecithin is made up of phosphatidylcholine, and another of its benefits is that it improves memory and learning ability.
L-carnitine L-tartrate is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier or “BBB” and helps regulate the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. Among the functions that L-carnitine L-tartrate exerts, we have that it helps improve brain function and dementia. It also has a vital role in the production of acetylcholine.
Vitamin C, or calcium ascorbate, has a long history of use as a natural antioxidant. It plays an important role in the body as it helps protect your body's cells from damage and maintains the health of skin, bones, teeth, cartilage, and blood vessels. It also helps regulate body temperature and hormone production.
Vitamin A Acetate
Vitamin A acetate is another antioxidant agent that protects cells from free radical damage and is necessary for average cell growth and development. It is an important fat-soluble vitamin that helps the proper function of the immune system, promotes good vision, and counteracts night blindness and eye problems.
Vitamin E DL-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate
Certain isomers of vitamin E have powerful antioxidant capabilities, and vitamin E DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate is one of them. This compound fights free radicals, fights inflammation, and can help slow down the natural aging of cells.
Vitamin E DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate could be key to preventing the development of diseases and combating health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, aging, and even cancer.
How to Add these Brain Boosters to Your Daily Routine
If you’re looking to integrate these brain-boosting supplements into your daily routine, try VYU’s TUNE IN.
This mushroom drink will give you the energy to take on life's challenges and stay focused when everything else seems too much. One delicious scoop per day instantly increases focus and memory recall, all without crashing your system with sugar!
As we mentioned previously, if you feel like you are suffering from constant brain fog, it is best to seek help from an expert to know precisely the best thing to do.
The condition of each person with brain fog is unique, and it is crucial to have adequate guidance as to what type of supplements or what type of habits to take or discard to improve this condition. If you want to know what are the benefits of functional mushrooms for men or women or how you could add some of these brain boosters to your daily routine to cure a foggy brain.
In that case, it is best to be adequately informed and consult your GP before taking any decision.