If you are a woman suffering from brain fog, you will want to learn some simple strategies to help gain mental clarity so you can live your best “clear-headed” life.
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Brain fog happens to everyone every once in a while. It isn’t an official medical term but is commonly used to describe not being able to think clearly and having difficulty concentrating. It makes it hard to complete simple tasks, it may affect your memory and disrupt your ability to work.
Common Brain Fog Symptoms:
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Difficulty remembering things
- Unable to process info easily
- Feeling confused or spaced out
For many women, brain fog is a symptom of menopause. It is generally mild and passes with time. However, if you find yourself suffering from this annoying and upsetting issue on a regular basis, there are ways you can reduce (or even eliminate) the frustrating brain fog that is limiting you from being productive and creative.
Should You Take a Supplement?
It is essential to get enough vitamins and minerals for good brain health. However, many health care professionals are shying away from recommending the use of supplements for improved clarity, unless you are known to be at risk for early dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
B vitamins do play a vital role in brain health but, unless you are lacking in them, there is no reason to take them. Omega-3 is another common supplement that promises better focus, but according to the National Institute of Health, is not necessary and may interact with certain medications. Enjoying fish in your diet on a weekly basis will provide you with Omega-3 fatty acids.
Here’s a great recipe for Mediterranean Cod to get you started.
How You Can Combat Brain Fog
There are methods to maximize your mental clarity. Reduce brain fog by following these strategies:
Work Your Body and Brain
Both your brain and your body need exercise each day. Exercising the brain to improve your memory and focus should be a priority as you start to age.
Physical exercise does not need to be stringent or demanding. Walking has many health benefits for midlife women, and you will notice it makes you feel better and think more clearly.
Mental exercise can be calming and rewarding, as well as helping to lessen brain fog. Try your hand at journaling. It will help sharpen your focus and become more productive.
“Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.”
In addition to journaling, color therapy, puzzles, and listening to music are all helpful, fun ways to improve clarity.
Physical and mental activities should boost your mental focus, so it is important to schedule them into your daily routine.
Managing Stress Levels
When you deal with stressful situations, you may notice having a tough time thinking clearly. Stress is distracting and results in abnormal hormone levels, which can directly affect your thinking.
There are a lot of common reasons for feeling stressed in midlife, and there are many ways in which you can reduce that stress naturally. Once you do, you’ll be able to get back to your best thinking again.
Focus on Nutrition
Unhealthy eating habits can leave you with brain fog. Eating a high-fat diet or lots of refined sugars and carbs can make brain fog worse. Try to eliminate sugar, unhealthy fats, alcohol, and caffeine. Focus on eating more produce and a variety of healthy foods.
There may also be healthy foods that do not sit well with your digestive system. For example, celiac disease and lactose intolerance can cause brain fog. It is important to keep track of how you feel after eating different foods so you can use that information to your benefit.
Be sure to check out my article on what to eat (and not to eat) to improve menopause symptoms.
Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep is a big cause of brain fog for women. If you’ve ever missed out on a few hours of sleep, you know how it feels like you are walking through a haze the next day. It causes trouble with concentrating and thinking clearly.
Women between the ages of 45-55 should strive for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. If you can master your midlife sleep habits, you will wake to feel well-rested and able to take on the day without feeling as though you are in a fog.
An early sign of dehydration is brain fog. When you are unable to concentrate or think clearly, have a glass of water. This usually helps. Prolonged dehydration can have adverse effects and even cause the brain cells to shrink.
Start your day off with 1 – 2 large glasses of water as soon as you wake up each day and be sure to continue drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Brain fog doesn’t have to control your life. By finding what works best for you, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to minimize the amount of brain fog you experience each day.
If you have tried all of these strategies and aren’t seeing any progress, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to determine if underlying medical issues may be causing your brain fog.