Navigating Through the Brain Fog

Dizziness. Lack of concentration. Zero motivation. Hazy thoughts. While not indicative of a serious illness, these common symptoms can detrimentally affect our efforts in completing regular tasks and disrupt complex mental functions. This may be the culmination of a “brain fog” or the series of cognitive problems we have with focus, memory, logic, and problem solving.

The Origins of Brain Fog: Anxiety, Stress and Depression

General mental exhaustion can easily cause episodes of brain fog, and none are more exhausting to the brain than the dreadful combination of anxiety, stress, and depression. These early signs of the three conditions may lead to brain fog throughout your day:

  • Extreme feelings of helplessness or guilt
  • Dramatic shifts in sleep pattern
  • Lethargic or low energy
  • Irregular eating habits (overeating or loss of appetite)

Even if thoughts of anxiety, stress, or depression are not at the forefront of the individual, these thoughts can linger in the background of the mind and weigh on the person over time. This can create symptoms that can worsen overtime such as uneasiness, restlessness, blood pressure changes, upset stomach, and shortened attention span.

Lifting the Brain Fog and Restoring Your Life

Living with an unclear and foggy mind can be disheartening but there are in fact a variety of methods to overcome these mental barriers:

  • Identify the source of stress/anxiety/depression: For instance, a work related task or a specific life event is the cause of your brain fog, identifying the problem is the first step to solving it. Seeking help for this specific issue at hand or creating a plan to deal with it can help decrease feelings of stress.
  • Practice self-care: Proper maintenance of the mind means taking regular breaks from any mentally tasking activity and finding peace elsewhere. This can include taking an appropriate length of rest, interacting with friends, doing enjoyable hobbies, meditating, receiving a massage, listening to tranquil music, and seeking counseling.
  • Reframe your source of anxiety: In some instances, we can practice “brain hacks” by restructuring the narrative or how we interpret feelings of anxiety and stress. These are feelings we cannot always avoid, as such in some cases we are able to use these as a source of motivation. For instance, being worried about a partner’s well being could be interpreted as your brain telling you how much you love them and thus this feeling can be turned into motivation to do everything you can to help them.

To learn more about the symptoms of brain fog and how to best combat it, visit