Do you find yourself wondering whether a 3rd cup of coffee would help “waking” your mind up? You’re probably suffering from brain fog, and you are not alone!
What is brain fog and how does it manifests?
Brain fog is a sign of an inflammation of the brain or sluggish brain function. Inflammation requires the body to redirect its energy to maintain a general level of functionality. The communication between neurons is impeded, which causes the brain to slow down and fatigue more easily.
Symptoms show up differently in different individuals because we are all very unique. Some of the main ways brain fog manifests are:
- Feeling like your head is in a cloud/cotton,
- Difficulties to concentrate/make decisions,
- Reaching out for more coffee/snacks,
- Feeling tired and cannot relax…
What are some of the causes of brain fog?
Knowing what causes brain fog can help you reflect on your current lifestyle, and encourage you to make some long lasting changes.
Some of the usual suspects are:
- Nutrient deficiency: food lacking nutrients or not enough variety on your plate,
- Impaired sleep: this is the time when the body and brain restore, eliminate toxins,
- Exposure to heavy metals and no regular detoxification,
- And obviously stress.
If living with Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, MS or other neurological diseases requiring medications, be aware some medicine’s side effect cause brain fog.
Let’s dive in some natural solutions now!
Do not fear, there are ways to reduce and sometimes eliminate brain fog naturally. Here are a few techniques that can help:
- Stay hydrated: the body is made up of up to 60% of water and your brain form up to 75% of water. Do you see where I’m going with that? Drinking enough water is essential for efficient brain (and body!) function.
- Check what’s on your plate: eat the rainbow. Increase the variety of fruits and veggies you’re eating so your plate is colorful at every meal. Seeing life in colors also helps alleviate depression. Ensure the food is of good quality (you know that if its tasty without adding anything to it).
- Detox: you are exposed to toxins/pollution everyday. Think of your environment, food, water, medicines, negatives thoughts… A simple way to help your body detox is giving your digestion a break with intermittent fasting. Certain herbs can also help such as dandelion/burdock root, moringa… Make sure you discuss options with your doctor/naturopath before making these changes though!
- Mindful exercise: we are built to move and staying active is vital to release endorphins, a chemical that rejuvenate the brain. You want to make sure you choose the right type of exercise for your constitution.
- Mindfulness: to reduce stress/anxiety, you need to make time for some quietness. A personalized yoga therapy practice is essential to help you do that. Depending on your specific needs, it may include gratitude, relaxation, meditation, use of sounds… Consult with your Yoga Therapist to know more.
- Pranayama (breathing techniques): we breathe on average 20,000 times in a day. Wow, I know right! You see why taking a 5-10 minutes each day to breathe mindfully will help you ground, refresh, focus. Your Yoga Therapist will be able to offer a technique adapted to your unique needs.
- Sleep: change your sleep hygiene and ensure you sleep at least 7 hours per night, ideally uninterrupted. A few quick tips to do that: stop eating at least 2 hours before bedtime, stop watching the evening News, and read from a book instead of a phone/tablet screen.