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Brain Fog: how to kick those “senior moments” to the curb

As we age, we are all prone to experiencing mental fog now and then. We may refer to it as “senior moments” or “brain farts” or “jello brain”. Here are four natural, everyday actions we can take to reduce brain fog symptoms in our lives.

You walk into the kitchen and can’t remember why.

Your car keys are not where you left them.

You have to check the calendar on your phone to make sure you don’t forget what time you’re meeting up with friends. Three times.

We’ve all experienced mental fog. You feel like your brain is made of cloud puffs instead of an actual brain. You feel a little foolish, and you have to wonder if this is your “new normal” as you get older.

There are four lifestyle changes that will reduce or even eliminate the mental fog you are experiencing:

  • Healthy Diet
  • Sleep
  • Physical Fitness
  • Participating in a Hobby

Symptoms of mental fog

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diminished memory
  • Finding it hard to focus
  • Poor communication skills
  • Low motivation
  • Distractability

“Brain fog” isn’t a medical condition. It’s a term used for certain symptoms that can affect your ability to think. You may feel confused or disorganized or find it hard to focus or put your thoughts into words.


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Medical Causes of mental fog

There are plenty of medical conditions that can bring on mental fog, including:

  • Menopause
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Medications
  • Cancer and Cancer Treatment
  • Depression
  • Lupus

Because these are serious illnesses and should not be dismissed, please SEE YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL if you have recurrent or continuous mental fog. It’s important to rule out any serious underlying condition as a first step in eliminating mental fog.

Daily Living Causes of mental fog

Brain fog can result from an imbalance in the control center of the brain as a result of inflammation, free radicals, or any type of stress. Check out these everyday causes:

  • Multi-tasking
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Imbalanced hormones
  • Infections
  • Not getting enough sun exposure
  • Substance abuse

Yes, mental fog can be a natural as a result of our busy, nonstop lifestyles – and is more common as we age.

If you and your doctor have ruled out the serious conditions above, it may be time to take a closer look at your lifestyle for causes.

smiling woman in cars holding car keys she found when mental fog cleared

Lifestyle Changes to Banish Mental Fog Caused by Aging

If you feel that you’re experiencing fogginess more often than you’d like, then here are some simple changes you can do to help clear any current fog, and prevent recurrences.

Note that these are lifestyle changes – one healthy meal or a single good night of sleep will not resolve the situation.

Build these good habits into your healthy lifestyle to receive the greatest benefits, including a sharp, quick mind.

Healthy Eating helps banish brain fog

It’s amazing how much power our food has over us.

Processed foods, foods high in saturated fats, and gluten all can have a powerful negative effect on your brain. Scientistists are learning from study after study that what you nourish your body with impacts your brain function.

  • Fill your meals with nutritious fruits and vegetables
  • Eat clean protein, organic when possible
  • Don’t be afraid of fat! It’s a healthy part of any diet
  • Reduce sugar and artificial ingredients
  • Drink plenty of water to stay adequately hydrated
  • Take your vitamins to supplement (not replace) your nutritious foods

sleep is Essential for Brain Function

We all sleep, but it’s the quality of our sleep that can either make us or break us.

High-quality sleep improves our overall brain function. While many people can get by all right on 5-7 hours, a full 8 hours of deep sleep each night is optimal.

Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by creating a relaxing bedtime routine and a comfortable sleeping area.

Don’t assume you can shortchange yourself all week and then make up for it on the weekends (or the reverse). You can make up for some, but not all, of your sleep time this way, and you may end up shorting yourself of the most vital REM sleep if you do.

Physical Fitness Helps Mental Fitness

Physical health and mental health are closely linked.

When you exercise, you send fresh, oxygenated blood to your entire body, and especially to your brain. This in turn boosts your brain’s cognitive functions and diminishes brain fog.

Studies have proven how exercise can improve learning and study skills, and optimize concentration and memory skills. Even a short walk around the block can “clear the air”, improve your concentration and mental speed.

a Hobby You Enjoy Will Keep You Mentally Active

While it may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done, let alone find time to enjoy a hobby, it is possible to incorporate fun, relaxing activities into your weekly schedule.

The first step is to carve out some “me” time and stop thinking it’s selfish, like most of us do.

The second step is to find something you enjoy doing purely for the pleasure of it. This activity could be meditating by yourself in a quiet room with scented candles, learning a language or skill, or joining a class or club and getting to meet new people.

The final step is to decompress and enjoy yourself.

Repeat often.

read about physical self-care for women over 50
smiling older woman with pink flower covering eye, cleared of mental fog

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Final Thoughts on Brain Fog Symptoms, Causes, and Cures

Brain fog due to aging is usually completely reversible.

You need to do the work to find the cause, whether it is due to a medical condition or simply your current circumstances.

Lifestyle changes that can dramatically improve and even banish mental fog completely include:

  • Healthy Diet
  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Physical Fitness
  • Participating in a Hobby

If you’ve been experiencing mental fog and thought it was just one more irreversible part of aging, think again! It is possible to cut through and see clearly again!

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