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#40 ** 7 Ways to Fight Brain Fog -

Brain fog often happens with fatigue (see #39), but can happen at any time. Do you ever struggle to find a word? Do you ever struggle with memory? Do you ever leave your purse or jacket in a restaurant? Do you ever do something ridiculous without thinking, like turning left on red?

Brain fog includes these feelings of confusion, forgetfulness, and a lack of focus and mental clarity.

These moments and others like them can be scary. I think the fear comes because we don’t know the cause. We might think of Alzheimer’s. How much of the problem is a physical illness? As acoustic neuroma patients, we might think our brain fog moments are a result of surgery or radiation. If we haven’t had surgery or radiation, we might wonder if our untreated tumor is growing and creating problems. Maybe, all the brain fog issues are truly senior moments or normal aging.

Actually, there are many causes of brain fog and many of these can be easily treated. The treatment depends, of course, on the cause. This often requires a doctor visit and an honest discussion of what is happening, with examples. It can be a matter of checking our vitamin levels. If vitamin deficient, a supplement might solve the problem. We see TV ads for cures for many different ailments including problems with the brain.

I often try to clear my brain fog with coffee hoping for more cognitive function and alertness. So, when I saw the book 60 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp, Helpful Habits for a Clear Mind and a Great Memory by Bonnie Beth Sparrman, I bought it. Glad I did.

The book is made up of 60 very short chapters (2-3 pages). Many of her ideas you have seen again and again. Eat a good diet, exercise, get proper sleep, and stop smoking are just a few.

I want to share 7 hints from her book you might not have thought about.

  1. Memorizing. The author suggests some side benefits of this practice. Let’s say you memorize verses of scripture. This can be helpful when trying to fall asleep or sitting in the dentist chair. I read this chapter the week before I went to the dentist and it really did help me to relax during the appointment.
  1. Take piano lessons or learn how to play another musical instrument. If this is too much to think about, just listening to music can slow the aging of our brains. 
  1. Dancing. This follows the music idea. This, too, can involve memorizing the dance steps. She suggests both partners are making quick decisions. This decision making is good for our brains.
  1. Gardening. The author relates a study of how gardening gives relief from depression. By the way, with each chapter, the author includes the research and/or studies which back up her suggestions.
  1. Create art. Our brains are involved when we use our hands to draw, paint, sculpt or photograph. Our skill level does not influence the value of the experience.
  1. Join a book group. Besides the social action, our brains are more engaged with a book group discussion than solitary reading.
  1. Choosing to be brave. This is all about being fearless in the worst of circumstances. Sometimes we need to push ourselves and not give up.

Is the book worth more than the $13.99 I paid for it. You bet!

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Readers, if you have a suggestion you want to share with us about how you fight brain fog, we would love to hear it.

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Loving Father,

It can be scary to think we are losing our marbles (cognitive function). Help us to find ways to stay on top and keep our brains as sharp as possible. Amen.

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Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!  Psalm 42:11