I think we all have all had times that our brain just can’t recall a word or name, or maybe it just goes blank. Once in awhile is not big deal. We might have not gotten a good night’s sleep or there is just way too much on our plate, BUT when it starts happening more frequently, well that gets scary!
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is not a medical condition. It is more of a cognitive dysfunction. So, it's really more of symptoms of things like memory issues, a lack of mental clarity, and just not being able to think properly. I’m sure you can relate to this; I know I can.
What are some of the most common causes of brain fog?
Natural Ways to Help Our Brain
Stay Hydrated. It’s easier to focus when your body is feeling its best. Keep your body in tip-top shape by making sure you stay hydrated.
Your brain is composed of approximately 73% water. If you find you are thirsty, then that means you are already dehydrated.
Do you struggle to drink enough water during the day? Add a little flavor to your water to make drinking a little more exciting.
Sleep. Making sure that we're getting enough proper deep sleep is critical.
When you're sleeping, your brain restores the energy it used during the day and processes new information. It's an extremely important process that improves your memory and learning skills.
Check out this blog post for some tips on how to get a good night’s sleep.
Manage Stress. We live in a stressful world and that's something that we really can't avoid but we can manage it.
Try meditating for 5–15 minutes to help minimize stress and improve focus.
Never meditated before? There are plenty of free meditation apps and even YouTube videos that can show you how to get started. By taking a short break from a project or task, you can give your brain a little boost with a quick meditation session.
Diet. Fueling our body with the proper nutrients really helps to prevent some of that brain fog.
Many people are deficient in vitamin B-12. Symptoms can include difficulties with fatigue, memory, mental fogginess, and even depressed mood.
Vitamin B12 helps with normal functioning of the nervous system, including the brain. And people with higher levels of vitamin B-12 seem to have less brain shrinkage as they get older.
Healthy Fats. Did you know that your brain is made up of 60% fat?
The brain needs fat because it’s a great insulator of electricity. The neurons and different brain regions communicate with each other by means of electrical impulses and without the fat that covers the axons of the neurons (called myelin), the impulses that transmit information would be dispersed and wouldn’t reach their destination. Also, the electricity produced could damage the brain tissue by burning it.
In addition to this, fat is key to how the brain performs its tasks, as well as helping to renew and restore damaged neurons.
So, if you don’t have enough fat, it would cause a deterioration of the physical and functional brain.
Bottom line, make sure you are getting good fats the polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega-3.
Get your inflammation levels checked. Too much inflammation in the body can cause your protective blood-brain barrier (BBB) to be more permeable, leading to brain inflammation.
This neuro-inflammation is sometimes called "leaky brain syndrome," and this inflammatory oxidative stress (OS) in the hypothalamus of the brain is the underlying cause of brain fog.
Quick Shifts to Get Your Brain Going
Go for a walk. If you need a good brain booster, simply stand up and get moving.
Did you know that exercise helps increase blood flow in the brain? If you’re having trouble concentrating at work or during a study session, try going for a short walk. Take a few trips up and down the stairs, walk down the hall, or simply take a lap around the building. Once you get the blood flowing, it’ll be easier to focus on the task at hand.
Change your point of view—literally. When you’re feeling a little stale and need a refresher, try doing an inversion.
Lie down on the floor and lean your legs up against a wall. Inversions are often done in yoga to help increase brain activity and decrease stress levels. If you need to energize your brain, don't turn to coffee or soda—simply change your point of view.
Use essential oils. Did you know that the aroma of certain essential oils can be useful for promoting feelings of focus? Essential oils like Basil oil, Douglas Fir oil, Eucalyptus oil, Rosemary oil and Spearmint oil contain chemical components that promote calming, grounding, uplifting, or energizing feelings—all of which contribute to a greater sense of focus.
Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of the benefits of essential oils for increased focus:
- Diffuse Basil oil to promote a sense of focus while studying, reading, or completing other tasks that require mental clarity.
- Use Douglas Fir oil to promote a positive mood and sense of focus when approaching a project deadline.
One can't discuss brain fog without mentioning Rosemary oil. This is a go-to essential oil to support memory and mental exhaustion, and the vibrant and oxide-rich smell can help snap you into the present moment. It has a penchant for clearing the mind and alleviating mental fatigue. Inhalation has been shown to improve speed and accuracy on cognitive tasks
- Need a good diffuser blend to help you stay focused? Combine two drops of Spearmint oil, two drops of Peppermint oil, and one drop of Basil oil into a diffuser to create an environment where you can better stay on task.
- Feeling too frantic or frazzled to concentrate? Add a drop of Eucalyptus oil to your palms, rub your hands together, cup them over the nose, and breathe deeply to promote feelings of relaxation.
- Make a roll-on blend for work or studying by adding 6 drops rosemary oil, 3 drops sweet basil oil, and 2 drops peppermint oil into an ounce of carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil. Apply to temples, back of neck &/or on inside of wrists to easily inhale.
Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you have to deal with brain fog, low energy, stubborn weight, joint pain, trouble sleeping or any of the other things so many chalk up to ‘aging’. I'm in my 70's and seldom deal with these issues and you don't have to either! I pulled together for you some of the things I have been doing. ⬇
Blessings for Health, Joy & Laughter,