The Impact Brain Fog Can Have on Attention and Memory
One way to characterize brain fog is slow or sluggish thinking. Another might be
the feeling of being spaced out or a lack of focus. There are many different reasons why someone may experience brain fog. It could be from a high amount of stress, a poor night of sleep, or side effects from various medicines. Most of the time brain fog gets better on its own and is not a long-term challenge. In contrast, there are times where it may last longer and influence various parts of the brain including your attention and memory.
If we examine the previous two years and the changes that have happened both
globally, there seems to be a higher amount of stress and health concerns have been more rampant. As a result, brain fog has affected many of us and will continue to do so. As an example, Universities of Cambridge and Exeter in the United Kingdom found that 69% of individuals with long COVID symptoms reported brain fog. The important thing to know is that you are in control and there are actions you can take to potentially minimize the effects brain fog may have on your attention and memory.
When it comes to attention and memory, Harvard Medical School defines them
- attention, allows our brains to actively process information that is happening around us while simultaneously ignoring other details. Attention is like a spotlight on a stage during a show that allows performers to stand out from the background.
- memory, the ability to learn, store, retain, and later retrieve information
As we explained earlier brain fog may make it more challenging to stay focused or
remember information, which long term can affect many aspects of life. So, what can you do to help promote a more resilient brain?
Dual-Task Training is one thing you can do to create a stronger brain and potentially minimize the effects of brain fog. Dual Task training is when you combine a physical task with a cognitive task, and most importantly manage toggling back and forth between the two.
There is plenty of research out there that explains the numerous benefits that physical activity and cognitive stimulation have on brain health. The important thing to note is that to maximize the health benefits both physically and cognitively you must combine the two together. That would be Dual-Task Training.
Below are some examples of exercises you can do at home to help create a more
- While on a walk count backwards by 2
- While on a bike ride think of various restaurants
- Do 10 push-ups and think about a different state each repetition
The most important thing is to think while you are moving.
This article was previously pusblished in Montgomery magazine
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