We name the situation when you can’t quite remember something Brain Fog. Like where we put our sunglasses. Or what was that person’s name? What’s that whatchamacallit is called? This situation is a normal part of life, brain fog happens to everybody and there is no need for concern, but it’s not as easy to brush off as a normal part of life when you forget something important at a critical time.
You rely on your memory all day every day to perform all the tasks of your life, and keeping your memory sharp is imperative. The good news is you can train your memory just like a muscle to get bigger, stronger and faster. But just like training a muscle, it takes time and consistency to train your brain.
6 easy tips to Boost your Brain Power and Reduce Brain Fog
Regular aerobic exercise
Regular exercise is proven to grow the area of the brain responsible for verbal and learning called the Hippocampus. Also, exercise has been shown to improve sleep patterns, stress levels, and mood – all that, if impaired in anyway can negatively affect your cognitive functioning. So, now we have even more reason to exercise; not only will it increase our physical endurance and capacity, it will also boost our brain power.
Get a good night’s sleep
During sleep, your brain is busy processing information from the day and forming new memories. If you are not sleeping well, you are at risk of developing several serious health difficulties. Hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, and your ability to learn and retain new information may be impaired. If you have ever pulled an all-nighter (either for work or school) you know that often the facts and figures you knew at 2 a.m. could not be recalled the next day. Without adequate sleep, your brain becomes foggy, your judgment poor, and your fine motor skills hindered. So, get some sleep!
Eat more fresh foods
The brain requires healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and adequate vitamins and minerals. Consuming too little of these foods and too many simple carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar, stimulates the production of toxins in the body. Those toxins can lead to inflammation, the build-up of plaques in the brain and thus, impaired cognitive function.
Ensuring your vitamin and mineral levels are at correct levels
If your memory is troubling you, it’s possible your brain simply isn’t getting enough of the nutrients it needs to function properly. Being low in critical vitamins can affect your ability to remember, but also to focus, learn, and think clearly in general. Make sure you speak with your health care provider to ensure you are getting appropriate vitamins and minerals for you.
Spending time with people you enjoy or doing activates you enjoy
Brain research suggests that fun is not just beneficial to learning but, by many reports, required for authentic learning and long-term memory. When joy and comfort are removed from life and replaced with stress or boredom, people’s brains are distanced from effective information processing and long-term memory storage. The highest-levels of thinking, making of connections, and “aha” moments are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of pleasure. So, fun promotes learning! It stimulates the release of epinephrine, and dopamine, and increases breathing volume (which means more oxygen). Nothing bad about all that!
Stop multitasking (as much as possible)
Multitasking has the exact opposite effect on productivity. Going back and forth between tasks takes a toll on your brain, potentially reducing attention span, learning, and mental performance. Interrupting one task to suddenly focus on another disrupts short-term memory. Spending blocks of time doing one thing at a time will take you less total time than trying to do two things at once.
Corey Feldman MMS, PA-C, ACSM-CPT