Even if you’ve never heard the term “brain fog,” you’ve likely experienced it. It’s the inability to concentrate due to confusion and/or fatigue. Luckily, a psychologist has revealed a method for fighting it.
According to neuropsychologist, Sanam Hafeez, brain fog can be caused by a multitude of things, including anxiety, stress, lack of sleep, and hormones.
In an interview with HelloGiggles, Hafeez said anxiety specifically affects your working memory “because more cognitive energy is devoted to anxiety instead of the working memory.”
The same is true for sleep. A lack of rest prevents memories from consolidating, which can lead to forgetfulness and distraction. So, how do you clear a brain fog?
Rashmi Parmar, a psychiatrist at Community Psychiatry, said a method called STOP can be an effective way to defuse stress. Each letter stands for an action:
- S: Stop what you’re doing.
- T: Take a deep breath.
- O: Observe how you feel emotionally and physically.
- P: Proceed with your task.
If you’ve been dealing with brain fog, experiment with the STOP method and see if it gets you back on track. Incorporating a mindfulness practice into your daily life could also help, as it trains your brain to focus on the present.