5 Tips For Fighting Brain Fog
When we think of cognitive impairments such as memory loss or inability to focus, we tend to associate them with aging. But age is not always the culprit. For some, these difficulties can come far earlier in life. In fact, for many fibromyalgia patients – most of who are still younger than the retirement age – these symptoms have become a frustrating reality.
These cognitive difficulties – otherwise referred to as fibro fog among fibromyalgia sufferers – can affect various cognitive functions including memory, attention, speech and more. Though it isn’t always possible to eradicate all the symptoms of fibro fog, there are things we can do to give our brains an extra boost and reduce fibro fog’s negative impact on our quality of life.
Here are five simple tips for boosting your brain and reducing the symptoms of fibro fog:
Feed The Brain
Like any other organ in the body, the brain needs proper nutrition to function at top notch. There are various vitamins and nutrients that are key to a healthy brain. A few at the top of our list are Omega-3 fatty acids, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron and vitamins E, K, D and B. We recommend getting as much as these vitamins and nutrients through diet and then supplementing through pills, if necessary.
Not sure which foods to eat for optimal brain health. Check out our article on the 7 Foods That Boost Your Brain!
If, like us, you believe in the power of herbs to heal and promote well-being – herbal supplements can be a great aid in boosting the health of your brain. Two of our favorite herbs for cognitive health are Bacopa Monnieri and Rhodiola Rosea.
Bacopa Monnieri contains phytonutrients known as bacosides that help repair damaged nerve cells. Multiple studies have shown it to improve memory and learning in adults. Learn more about Bacopa Monnieri.
Rhodiola Rosea helps the brain by building up our resistance to stress – which can negatively impact brain function. Rhodiola also increases our neurons sensitivity to the transmitters involved in memory, focus and mood. For many, the positive impact on mood is rhodiola’s most redeeming quality. Learn more about Rhodiola Rosea.
Whether it’s a night out with friends or simply talking to a friend on the phone, make an effort to build relationships and stay social. As hard as it may be for those of us suffering from fibromyalgia, healthy relationships can build self-esteem and increase your sense of fulfillment – both of which reduce stress and enhance your overall well-being. In fact, various studies have shown that relationships and social interactions may help reduce our risk of developing cognitive impairments.
These relationships, if healthy, can also provide us with a much needed support network to confront the various challenges we’re faced with.
Meditation / Mindfulness
Think of the mind as a stage. At any given moment there can be a number of different actors occupying the stage – all vying for our attention. As the mind races to process all of this information and give attention to the various actors – it can easily become exhausted and overloaded. Practicing some form of meditation or mindfulness can help our minds to process and let go of the various different actors (i.e. emotions, information, etc) occupying the stage. By keeping the stage from becoming overloaded, we free our minds to think and process information more clearly.
For many, meditation is an effective method for achieving this. It is not the only way, however. Exercises such as yoga and tai chi incorporate breathing and mindfulness techniques that can help clear the mind and improve focus. Whatever you choose – don’t give up if it feels uncomfortable or you don’t see results at first. As with anything, mindfulness exercises take much practice, but we promise that they’ll pay off in the long run.
Low Impact Exercise
Lets face it – chronic pain and exercise don’t exactly go hand in hand. And yet, study after study has shown that exercise not only helps reduce pain in many cases but is also important for brain health. Exercise promotes better circulation – resulting in improved blood flow to the brain. As the blood carries more nutrients and oxygen to the brain, it is better equipped to perform at optimal levels.
We recommend 10-30 minutes of simple, low impact exercise routines such as walking, water aerobics or stationary bike. If the pain and discomfort is simply too much, consider other alternative exercises such as yoga or tai chi – both of which can offer the same benefits without putting as much stress on the body.
Whether it’s diet and nutrition or mindfulness and exercise, your approach to fighting the symptoms of fibro fog should be multi-pronged. As you research and try different approaches, remember that what works for some may not work for all. Experiment and find out what works for you – then repeat as necessary.
What tricks or tips have helped you cope with the symptoms of fibro fog? Share your comments below or post them on our Facebook Page!