Combating Brain Fog

Our Brains can sometimes be like web browsers; open tabs, pop-ups, slow loading, “viruses” and frequent updates at the wrong times.  – Dr. Adolph Brown


When our brain has too many tabs open or we have a lot on our minds due to chronic stress, the common result is excessive cognitive fatigue or brain fog. 

The consequences can range from weakened immune function, poor focus, and reduced productivity and job performance.  Ultimately when your brain is distressed, you are likely to have a challenging time thinking, reasoning and focusing.  Although many of my clients are relieved to know that brain fog is not a diagnosable condition, they desperately look for relief of “feeling off” and unable to correct.  I commonly share the following explanation and advice to my clients dealing with brain fog: “When the stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine are present in excessive quantities for long durations, they overwhelm and exhaust the brain causing brain fog.”  The following advice may provide relief for brain fog:

  • Find the source.  Attempt to identify the origin of the fogginess.
  • Prioritize sleep.  Acknowledge that sleep disturbances can be related to unclear thoughts and short-term memory problems.  Sleep has been found to be one of the best activities we can do for our brain and overall mental health.
  • Feed yourself. Make sure you are well hydrated and not eating foods from which you suffer an allergic reaction. 
  • Move your body.  Exercise keeps the brain cells healthy by significantly reducing brain fog because of increased heart rate, blood flow, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. 
  • Take a break.  Include leisure activities and “down time” in your daily schedule. 
  • Make a plan.  Devise a plan of action to relieve your brain fog and commit to it.

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  1. Spalding KL, Bergmann O, Alkass K, et al. Dynamics of hippocampal neurogenesis in adult humans. Cell. 2013;153(6):1219-1227. 
  2. Guadagni V, Drogos LL, Tyndall AV, et al. Aerobic exercise improves cognition and cerebrovascular regulation in older adults. Neurology. 2020;94(21):e2245-e2257.
"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works"
– Hebrews 10:24