4 Ways To Clear The Pesky Brain Fog In Your Head

silhouette brain fog clouds in head
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Brain fog, or “clouding of consciousness,”1 is a cocktail of symptoms that impairs certain cognitive functions, including your ability to problem-solve, decision-make, and recall things in memory.

In other words, it’s not a yummy cocktail like a mint julep or a piña colada, but a sucky one like “The Smoker’s Cough” — an insulting concoction of Jägermeister and mayonnaise (yes, mayonnaise.)

Mixology aside, brain fog could easily derail your train of thought and wedge the phrase “Where was I?” into your vernacular faster than Elon Musk can tweet about cryptocurrencies (which is, like, fast.)

It’s a byproduct of “chronic fatigue syndrome”2 a condition characterized by a sustained period of sluggishness, not to mention cognitive inefficiency (ie. the inability to use mental resources to learn or solve basic problems.)

Put indelicately, brain fog isn’t the same as letting a “brain fart” rip from the ass cheeks of your mind. 

A brain fart is fleeting as the wind (hence the term “breaking wind.”)

By contrast, brain fog settles in like that irresponsible friend of yours who’s always “in-between things” and hasn’t moved out of your couch since before the pandemic.

So, if you’re constantly mistaking your electric kettle for a stove-top version and setting it on fire, or running red lights through traffic like a bat out of hell, or fumbling with words that used to come easily to mind…

CONGRATULATIONS!

You’re (unofficially) the latest member of the brain fog club.

WHAT CAUSES BRAIN FOG?

Why, we’re glad you asked, dear reader!

Presenting our nifty infographic on what causes brain fog:

what causes brain fog infographic

4 WAYS TO CLEAR THE PESKY BRAIN FOG IN YOUR HEAD

If you’ve reviewed our infographic above, you may have inferred that some of the afflictions associated with brain fog aren’t easily eradicated.

This goes for treatments like chemotherapy and medications to treat chronic illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis.

However, if you’re a relatively healthy person, or on the upswing from one of the above illnesses, then it’s possible to clear your mind of brain fog and karate-chop mental fatigue where the sun don’t shine!

Here’s how:

1. IMPROVE YOUR DIET

So, you’ve been yearning for a brief moment of lucidity — just a few minutes of clear, unobstructed thinking — but brain fog’s got the best of you.

And why wouldn’t it?!

Your diet’s a chaotic jumble of simple carbohydrates, saturated fats, and menthol cigarettes.

You devour bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos like a tub of popcorn, your fingernails etched in orange, and wash down the Cheetos with coffee-infused Coca-Cola.

Do yourself a favor, dear reader, and eschew all orange-colored snacks.

And while you’re at it, stock your refrigerator with decaffeinated beverages.

But more importantly, consume a diet rich in protein, unsaturated fats (like avocados), fruits, and veggies. And check that your Vitamin B-12 levels are on point (see the infographic.)

Your brain (and your bowels) will thank you!

flat lay avocado cut in half green background

2. IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP HYGIENE

If you want your brain fog to disappear faster than a ninja igniting a smoke bomb, then it will behoove you to catch some serious ZZZs.

You can achieve this by improving your sleep hygiene.

To be clear, good sleep hygiene doesn’t mean that you go to bed squeaky-clean after a hot evening bath, donning exquisite silk pajamas in virgin white.

Nope.

Good sleep hygiene means that the underlying conditions governing your quality of sleep are optimal.

In other words, your bedroom environment is cozy.

Hopefully, you lay in bed at night in a safe space for sleep (away from wily coyotes and angry bears.)

Ideally, your neighbor refrains from playing his drum set at 2 AM.

Preferably, you’re following daily routines that promote deep, uninterrupted, restorative sleep, such as avoiding caffeine after 2 PM and taking in plenty of sunlight.

If, however, your sleep hygiene sucks to high-heaven, then may we offer you some casual sleep advice from our Sleep Collection and call it a night?

close up copper bedframe nightstand plant

3. MANAGE STRESS & ANXIETY

Squeezing the shit out of stress balls can only do so much, dear reader.

To combat brain fog, you’ll need to take grandiose measures in mitigating your stress and anxiety levels, especially if you wish to do so without taking medication.

For starters, exercising regularly can distract from stress and even help to alleviate it (ie. practicing yoga or jogging to your favorite music album.)

Other distractions to get you out of your mind and “into your body” are cooking and enjoying hobbies like hiking and painting.

Also, keeping a journal, meditating and deep-breathing exercises are great ways to mitigate stress.

Finally, consider joining a support group or speaking with your doctor/therapist on how to better manage stress, anxiety, and depression (aka a cocktail of funky badness.)

hands covered in colorful paint holding brush

4. PRACTICE SELF-AWARENESS & MINDFULNESS TECHNIQUES

We should start by differentiating between self-awareness and mindfulness.

These are both forms of introspection — of “looking inwardly” to gain more clarity on your circumstances and experiences in life.

The main difference between the two is that self-awareness requires a conscious effort to detach yourself from emotion and self-judgment while reviewing your experiences.

Someone who’s self-aware, for example, views their character flaws and shortcomings stoically, usually from an outsider’s perspective, and takes an actionable approach to improve them.

By contrast, mindfulness is the practice of assessing your current state of mind and accepting your emotions (albeit without self-judgment).

It helps you slow down the cogs in your brain that keep you in high alert mode.

Moreover, mindfulness doesn’t usually prompt you to change things about yourself that you feel could use improvement, or at least it’s not meant to.

To clear brain fog, we recommend practicing mindfulness techniques first and then segue into self-awareness exercises.

Goodful has a pretty neat library of short meditations on YouTube, like this 5-minute meditation you can do anywhere.

By meditating, you can slow down your heart rate and get your mind off of stressful things like going to the bathroom at work and doing No. 2 as your coworker occupies the next stall.

Once you’re done wiping (and washing your hands!), it’s time for some good ‘ole self-awareness.

If you don’t know where to start, that’s okay!

Try writing down your experiences on a piece of paper exactly as you remember them without using any phrases or words (especially adjectives) that denote emotion.

Then, read it back to yourself, or discuss the experience with a friend who can offer you an objective opinion, to figure out what went wrong or what can be improved upon.

Together, self-awareness and mindfulness are powerful tools to clear your mind of brain fog.

Wait a minute…

What was I saying?

  1. Schildkrout, B. (2011). Unmasking Psychological Symptoms. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 183–184 & Wikipedia.
  2. Falk, S. M.D. & Higuera, V. (2018, May 22.) 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/brain-fog#Food-Fix:-Immune-System-Boost
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Chelsea
Chelsea
9 months ago

😂😂 love the way you ended this. Amazing work. I’ve been looking for a piece on brain fogs for forever but there’s not a lot that’s as comprehensive as this.

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