You’ve had a long and stressful day at work. You come home to your partner and they ask you about your day, but you are having difficulty following their questions. You might even be having a hard time searching for the words to use. It feels like your thoughts have met a brick wall and there is some sort of mental block! Your memory and speech become scrambled, and it all becomes overwhelming and draining.
If you’re familiar with these kinds of feelings, there’s actually a name for it! You might have experienced what we call brain fog. Brain fog is more commonly referred to as brain fatigue, which involves episodes of mental fuzziness or confusion usually as a result of prolonged stress. This can affect our judgement or ability to solve problems. Not only does brain fog affect our mental acuity and productivity, but it is also implicated in our emotional wellbeing. When we are thinking clearly we feel good! But when stress takes over, it can be difficult to recognize the red flags.
Like any other part of our body, our brain can become overworked and experience exhaustion. If you visit the gym for three hours instead of your usual one hour, your body will feel it! You’ll have sore muscles as a result of this physical exertion. The brain reacts just the same. When we have a higher cognitive load and overwork ourselves, our brain reacts strongly to this “tension”. Brain fog requires us to spend much more mental energy towards seemingly simple day to day tasks.
Brain health needs to be prioritized now more than ever. In the midst of a pandemic reality, research has been increasingly suggesting a link between brain fog and COVID. Many people living with the disabling long-term symptoms of COVID-19 infection have reported difficulty with thinking, concentration, and short-term memory loss. Some have reported the symptoms being comparable to cases of dementia. A unique finding has emerged from the brains of COVID patients, suggesting more serious neurological underpinnings. Scientists are discovering cells known as megakaryocytes that should not be present in the brain. It is believed that these cells are involved in response to infection, and that the mass of these cells are inhibiting the brain’s ability to pass blood freely. This inflammation can cause impaired functioning, exhibiting symptoms identical to this brain fog phenomenon.
Experiencing brain fog is your brain letting you know that it is time to set boundaries with your workload…but it could be pointing towards something more detrimental to brain health. Allow yourself to stay on top of your daily tasks without putting your brain at risk. Here are just a few helpful ways to combat the symptoms of brain fog:
- Give yourself scheduled leisure breaks to manage stress
- Prioritize sleep…make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night
- Eat a balanced diet. Foods high in antioxidants are essential!
- Communicate with your family and healthcare providers
- Brainwave training!
Within the past year, our brains have been under an immense amount of pressure. For most people working remotely, back to back video conferences, and 7+ hours of screen means less of a work/life balance. The most important thing we can do is recognize when we have become blinded by this fog! Identify the triggers in your lifestyle whether that’s diet, lack of sleep, stress, or health. Once we do this, we can become more in control of the informed decisions we make around our brain health!
Neurofeedback treatment can be a helpful tool for reducing brain fog while improving concentration and focus! Some findings across the world are suggesting that the neurological effects of brain fog, especially related to COVID 19 can be treated by gently increasing healthy brain activity. Neurofeedback can focus on this healthy SensoriMotor Rhythm and help your brain get back its mental energy and efficiency. Click here to learn more about the benefits of neurofeedback, and book a free 20 minute consultation. Together we can help your brain perform with more ease!