Brain fog is a common symptom of anxiety, and it can make it difficult to focus, think straight and can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated. It can feel like a haze or like your mind is scattered and it makes it extremely difficult to make decisions and focus on a single task to completion without getting distracted or tired. Lack of sleep, overworking, and stress can be some of the symptoms of brain fog. Although it might be annoying, brain fog is treatable. Pay attention to your symptoms. If untreated, brain fog can decrease your quality of life and increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and memory loss. (Also read: Troubled by brain fog? Ayurvedic tips to boost your brain power)
Anxiety Therapist, Anna, shared five ways to beat brain fog in her recent Instagram post.
Dopamine is made from the amino acid l-tyrosine which is commonly found in protein-rich foods. Dopamine is a major neurotransmitter that’s a key factor in motivation, productivity, and focus. Eating a diet high in l-tyrosine can help ensure that you’ve got the basic building blocks needed for dopamine synthesis. Foods such as animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy), apples, avocados, bananas, beets, dark chocolate green leafy vegetables, nuts like almonds & walnuts, olive oil, oregano, rosemary, turmeric, watermelon.
2. “The list of 5”
Creating an endless to-do list only further overwhelms your brain and nervous system, pushing you to ‘shut down and procrastinate.
Instead, try each morning writing a list of 5 things to get done
- 1-2 are IMPERATIVE and must get done.
- 2-4 are NICE to get done, they aren’t time sensitive like the first 2.
- 5 is BONUS would be nice to get done, but only if you get to it.
The list of 5 forces you to priorities what’s really most important. What you don’t get done, can get moved up the list or moved onto your next day’s list.
3. Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting improves various metabolic features known to be important for brain health. Intermittent fasting helps reduce:
- Oxidative stress
- Blood sugar levels
- Insulin resistance
Fasting also increases levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Low levels of BDNF lead to difficulties learning new things, depression and mood swings. Intermittent fasting is NOT restrictive eating, meaning you can eat what you need in the ‘feeding’ times.
It’s a structured schedule of eating. The most common is the 16:8 structure. 16 hours fasting with an 8-hour eating window. Most of your fasting can be done whilst you sleep. However, it is important to remember that intermittent fasting should be avoided by people who are underweight, at risk of malnutrition, suffering from an eating disorder or having problems with maintaining their blood sugar levels.
4. Address nutritional deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies can support brain health and improve cognitive function
- Vitamins B6, B9, B12
- Vitamin magnesium
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It boosts the production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell ageing, and improves the flow of nutrients to the brain.
The movement also is a powerful tool to regulate your nervous system. Your nervous system is designed to move, it actively completes the stress and fight/flight cycle. By exercising you allow your body and brain to move into a present & connected state in which you can focus more clearly.