This article takes a look at brain fog and meditation and how concentration can help you think clearly.
The link between brain fog and meditation has been the subject of debate, but there’s a growing consensus that meditation does help. The evidence supporting its benefits is growing and it appears that treating brain fog or clouding of consciousness, is one of them. While meditation doesn’t work overnight, it does have a relaxing effect which is good for the emotions and apparently for the mind as well.
This term is frequently used to refer to a condition that results in difficulty focusing, thinking, memory lapse, and the brain “just going blank”. The simplest way to describe the sensation is you simply are unable to think clearly. There’s a misconception that clouding of consciousness affects only the elderly, but the truth is it affects young adults as well. What makes the condition especially difficult to treat is there are several possible causes.
What Causes Brain Fog?
There are many possible reasons but to cite a few:
- Brain fog and anxiety: the effects of stress on people vary, but few will argue that it has an adverse effect on memory. When you’re stressed your mind is in a million places at once so it’s not surprising that you’ll forget things once in a while. But if these incidents persist there’s a good chance you have clouding of consciousness developing.
- Lack of sleep: one simple brain fog cure is to get enough sleep. During sleep your brain recharges itself so the lack of it is going to affect your mental faculties.
- Other possible causes of consciousness clouding are poor diet, allergies, not getting enough water and poor health
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and other medications are known to affect one’s ability to think, necessitating brain fog treatment. Keep in mind too that certain medical conditions like thyroid, hormonal issues and mercury poisoning can also affect your ability to think, so if you suspect one of these is the reason, go to a doctor.
If on the other hand you’re healthy and still suffering from a foggy brain, consider meditation. To answer the question “can meditation reduce brain fog?” the answer is yes.
For those who’ve made meditation a part of their lives, there’s no questioning its efficiency when it comes to lifting mental cloudiness. But as to how it works there’s still a lot of research going on, but researchers at the University of Wisconsin reported that people who mediate have a greater level of activity in the left frontal lobe area, which is linked with feelings of optimism and contentment.
How Do I Meditate?
There are a lot of ways you can meditate: however you need to persevere especially if you’ve never done it before, as your mind will resist.
Start with this one:
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and sit on a chair.
- Set your watch timer to 2 minutes.
- As soon as the timer starts, focus your attention on your breathing. Don’t allow other thoughts to come in, and concentrate on each inhalation and exhalation.
- When the timer goes off, stop.
This might sound easy, but focusing on a single train of thought for two minutes is difficult for most people. The first few times you attempt this mindfulness meditation you’re going to find it hard because your thoughts will flood in, including the things you did today and other pressing matters.
There are two ways to deal with these incoming thoughts: the first is to ignore them. Don’t force anything: simply “tell” your mind to ignore these thoughts and return your attention to breathing. This isn’t going to happen overnight but it should work given enough time.
The other way is to watch your thoughts instead of your breathe. Don’t get emotional with your thoughts: simply watch them as they pass through your mind and act as a detached observer. Again this will take time to get used to so start with just 2 minutes and work your way up.
Are There Other Ways to Meditate?
Yes there are: you can sit back in a darkened room and focus your attention on a candle, or the ticking of a clock or repeat a mantra. Regardless of the method you use the basic principle is the same, and that is to train your mind to focus on a single object or train of thought.
There are many meditation videos available to help guide you through a session, try the one below or find one which suits you.
The amount of time you invest in this will be worth it because the inability to focus is the main reason why your mind is foggy. The brain fog and meditation link may still be unclear for some scientists and researchers, but you just need to give it a try: you have nothing to lose and could work for you as it has for many people.