What Is Brain Fog?


Brain fog can be a disorientating feeling. It might make you feel like you’re lost, confused, alone, or adrift. It can also affect your well-being and overall mental health. 

It causes individuals to not think clearly, leaving them feeling helpless, temperamental, or disheartened. You can suffer from poor mental health if you constantly feel this way. Brain fog may be triggered by mental illness or by other conditions.

The relationship between brain health, mental capacity, and emotional well-being can be better understood if you are familiar with brain fog, its causes, and how it relates to mental illness.

What Is Brain Fog? 

Brain fog can happen when an individual feels anxious and also struggles to concentrate or think clearly. 

While it isn’t a medical condition and normal to experience from time to time, it can be caused by a number of mental health conditions or something more simple like stress.

It can cause a period of decrease in focus, lack of concentration, memory, or alertness.  Symptoms of cognitive impairment can vary from person to person, but symptoms of brain fog generally consist of: 

  • Memory problems
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to focus
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Low energy
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Emotional detachment or an inability to connect with others on an emotional level

These challenges can interfere with day-to-day activities. Brain fog can affect any demographic from teens to elderly adults. 

What Causes Brain Fog?

The causes of brain fog are fairly diverse as the symptoms are.  Fortunately, a lot of the causes can be reduced with lifestyle changes, prescription medication, and professional therapy or counseling. 

One of the most common causes of brain fog is sleep deprivation.  When an individual has a lack of sleep they may feel confused or bewildered.  When the body is tired it can make thinking clearly or staying concentrated very difficult. 

Another common cause is diet and nutrition.  The brain needs proper nutrition, energy, and vitamins in order to function properly. Low levels of B-12 for example can cause hazy thoughts or create trouble with memory. 

As mentioned before stress can be contributing factor to brain fog.  Like poor quality of sleep, stress can also exhaust the brain leaving it tired and making it more difficult to reason, think, or focus. 

How Does It Relate to Anxiety?

Brain fog and anxiety can co-occur because the symptoms of one cause the symptoms of the other. 

Without an outlet for its energy, battling anxiety can be mentally exhausting thus brain fog reinforces cognitive fatigue. When anxiety is present in the brain, racing thoughts and constant worries can exhaust the brain.  

When you’re experiencing brain fog, your alertness, and processing skills are impaired. Anxiety levels rise as a result of unfamiliarity. 

Ways to Treat and Prevent Brain Fog

There are a few things you can do to prevent and manage brain fog and manage your anxiety

Define Your Anxiety

Finding the source of your anxiety is a great first step.  When you can identify the underlying reasons why you feel anxious and constantly worried, you can get to the root of the problem.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care should be at the core of managing brain fog and anxiety.  Whether that be reading self-help books, meditating, or getting some exercise, practicing self-care can keep your mind at ease and focus on the present.  

Try New Things

To help increase, the production of important chemicals in the brain such as norepinephrine, trying new things can help stimulate your brain.  Listening to new music, trying new places, or approaching life in a different way can help jolt the mind out of a sluggish state. 

Find a Nutritious Diet

Our diets can have a large impact on our cognitive function. Foods that are high in omega-3, probiotics, and proteins are essential to a good diet and boost energy levels. 

Anxiety Treatment with SoCal Sunrise Recovery

Help is available for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders. SoCal Sunrise Recovery’s Mental Health Center has effective treatment options available to you. Let us help you overcome anxiety.

Call today to talk to our skilled therapists and psychologists at our Anxiety Treatment Center in Orange County.  You can get started on a comprehensive plan designed just for you right away. 

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