Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
October 29, 2021
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Do you lack mental clarity? Do you lack focus, feel foggy, or tired all the time? If so, this post is for you. Here are some of the most common reasons for lack of mental clarity, or brain fog, and what you can do about it!

Reasons for Lack of Mental Clarity

Mental clarity is the ability to think and focus, lack of stress, and anxiety. If you feel like you are not on top of your mental game this could be due to what some people call brain fog.

Brain fog is described as a lack of focus or clarity. It can also be the cause of memory loss and cognitive dysfunction.

There are many reasons for brain fog but it can be caused by lack of sleep, poor diet choices, or lack of exercise. You may experience the following symptoms: difficulty putting ideas together. difficulty concentrating or remembering what you were doing before.

Stress

Stress can cause people to lack mental clarity and focus. Stress causes the mind to be distracted, making it difficult for you to stay on task and complete your work or school.

When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol and adrenaline which can cause mental fatigue. Studies show that burnout and chronic stress might make the fear center in your brain expand.

Stress also thins the part of your brain that is used for thinking cognitively. It can weaken connections in your brain that are used for remembering things or being creative.

Stress, while perhaps seeming to be a common and generally harmless phrase, can have disastrous effects on the body. When your body senses a stressful event, it activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This is also known as the fight-or-flight response.

The release of epinephrine, or adrenaline, and norepinephrine occurs as a result of this response. This then redirects energy away from non-critical bodily functions. The SNS also causes your heart to beat faster, blood pressure to rise, and breathing to be more rapid.

Lack of sleep

Are you getting enough hours? If not, lack of sleep can be the cause of brain fog. Lack of sleep is caused by staying up late, lack of sleep hygiene, and lack of sleep due to medical conditions.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need seven to nine hours and teenagers eight to ten hours each night. Getting enough restful, quality sleep actually helps improve memory and concentration!

Hormonal changes

Changes in testosterone levels during puberty and perimenopause in women may lead to brain fog. Sometimes anxiety disorders such as bipolar disorder also cause hormonal changes.

This can lead to a lack of focus and brain fog as a result of fluctuating hormones. This then causes erratic behavior leading up to a lack of attention and mental fuzz.

Diet

What you eat can affect your mood, memory, and ability to concentrate. If you are not eating enough or supplying enough nutrients to your body you may find it difficult to focus. When you lack certain vitamins and minerals, it can have a negative effect on your mental clarity.

A lack of healthy fats, lack of protein or lack of carbohydrates can affect your brain which causes brain fog. A diet high in processed foods and lack of nutrients can cause you to feel fatigued and brain fog.

Medications

Some prescription and over the counter medications can cause brain fog. If you’re taking any medication for depression, anxiety or other psychiatric conditions it can cause brain fog.

Heavy metal exposure

Exposure to heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and lead can also be the reason for brain fog. These heavy metals often stay in the body for a long time, so they need to be removed using chelation therapy if you want to get rid of mental clarity issues.

Medical conditions

Mental clarity is a feeling of clear thinking, concentration, and focus. It can be difficult to maintain this type of mental state throughout the day with the high demands at work or school. The following are some medical conditions that may cause brain fog.

Your brain and body work together to make you feel balanced. When your brain is not functioning well, it can cause a lack of clarity in thought which can lead to things like depression or anxiety.

Now, we will discuss the different medical conditions that might be causing this feeling of mental confusion.

Depression and Anxiety

Mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety can make it hard for you to concentrate on tasks at hand.

Anxiety causes an individual to worry about things they cannot control which distracts them from their duties in life.

Depression makes it hard for people to be joyful or enjoy anything they do. This is due to their tendency to focus on negative ideas rather than have optimistic mindsets. They can’t see potential solutions instead of issues.

Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland controls your metabolism, which affects how quickly or slowly you burn energy. When it is not functioning properly, brain fog can be the result.

Thyroid hormones play a role in brain development and function. They impact cognitive ability, mood stability, energy levels, strength of memory recall and more.

If you lack clarity and brain power, it could be a sign that your thyroid gland is not functioning properly. You can go to your doctor and have them test your thyroid function as the first place to start.

How do I get mental clarity?

There are a lot of ways to get mental clarity. Start by making sure that you’re getting the proper amount of sleep for your age and activity level.

Once you’ve done that, it would be a good idea to start thinking about what changed since the last time that you were feeling mentally clear. Was there an increase in stress? Did something happen in your life?

Some people’s causes of brain fog are caused by hormonal changes. So start paying attention to what time of the month it is and how your cycle has been going over the past few months. If you can’t get any clarity on this, talk with your doctor.

Interestingly enough, lack of sleep can be caused by stress. If you’re very stressed out and lack the mental clarity to get things done, lack of sleep can be another thing to blame.

Brain Fog Symptoms

Brain fog is a lack of clarity and focus caused by various factors. Some of these factors include stress, lack of sleep, and hormonal changes. Research has found that as many as 16% of adults in the US suffer from this condition. Some symptoms include the following:

  • Lack of clarity or focus
  • Lack of memory and forgetfulness
  • Lack of attention and concentration
  • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Lack of energy and lack of mental acuity.
  • Lack of ability to process information quickly and accurately.
  • Lack of creativity and spontaneity

What deficiency can cause brain fog?

Certain nutritional deficiencies can trigger brain fog. One cause is a deficiency of Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is an essential vitamin that your body needs to properly function. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells and DNA. B12 deficiency can cause problems with the nervous and circulatory systems.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a number of problems in the brain. These include dementia, paranoia, sadness, and behavioral changes. Vitamin B12 insufficiency has been linked to irreversible damage in the brain.

Vitamins for Brain Fog

Because vitamin, mineral, and other nutritional deficiencies can cause mental health issues. Supplementation may be beneficial.

  • Vitamin D is often called the “Sunshine Vitamin” because it’s easily absorbed by your body through exposure to sunlight. However, lack of sun exposure can lead to a lack of vitamin D in the body which leads to a lack of proper brain function and mental clarity.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient for brain health. They help in the production of neuron membranes and neurotransmitters. These make up memory, moods, behavior, attention span, and much more.
  • Magnesium is another essential nutrient for brain functioning. It helps in the creation of neurotransmitters. These are responsible for relaxation, memory recall, and clarity of thought.
  • Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that helps the brain to maintain its health. It also protects it against damage from free radicals and lack of oxygen.
  • B complex vitamins are essential for brain health. They help in the production of neurotransmitters that make up memory, moods, behavior, and more.
  • L-theanine is an amino acid that helps to promote clarity of thought and can also protect the brain from a lack of oxygen.

Brain Fog Treatment

The symptoms of brain fog can be debilitating. Finding the right treatment for your condition is paramount to regaining control over your life.

This disorder affects millions of people worldwide and has no known cure. It’s important to find a treatment that will help alleviate some of the symptoms without causing negative side effects.

Get More Sleep

Regardless of if you’re feeling anxious, nighttime sleeplessness can make it tough to think straight during the day. Even if you only get four hours of sleep each night for a few days, it’s unlikely that this will have a significant impact.

If you don’t get enough sleep on a daily basis, you will begin to experience some negative effects. Effects such as irritability, daytime drowsiness, and difficulties focusing.

Caffeine may temporarily help you feel more awake, but it is not a good long-term solution. For optimum performance, shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. You may need 9 hours of sleep to feel your best.

Do Regular Exercise

Regular and consistent exercise has many benefits. Improving mental health is one of these benefits. Regular exercise can help you improve your sleep and increase blood flow to the brain. It can also improve your memory and increase your reaction time.

As little as a 15 minute walk every day can help to boost your cognitive brain function.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your brain needs nutrients to operate at an optimal level. A diet that lacks essential fatty acids, iron, protein and other important vitamins can lack mental clarity and brain power.

You can get the nutrients your body needs by eating a well-balanced diet. Foods that include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment with an open mind. It’s a state of active, open attention to the present.

Practicing Mindfulness will enhance your ability to focus and concentrate. It helps to rid your brain of distractions and get rid of the nagging thoughts that may be crowding your mind.

Taking just a few minutes each day to go outside and breathe fresh air can help you reduce the symptoms of brain fog. Sitting in your backyard and just taking a few minutes to breathe deeply is a great way for you to reduce stress.

Take Short Breaks

Sometimes while working for long periods of time you can experience burn out. Taking a short break from work can help you to re-focus and be more productive.

Taking breaks is also important because it allows your mind to process information better. Taking short breaks can also help you to reduce stress and anxiety which is necessary for optimum mental clarity. Taking a five minute break to just close your eyes and breathe deeply can help you refocus on the task at hand.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is to change the negative thinking patterns that cause brain fog and stress. CBT teaches you to recognize the self-defeating thoughts that contribute to brain fog and change them.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It focuses on teaching the individual skills that can help them cope more effectively with their symptoms. DBT is used to treat a wide range of disorders, including depression and lack of focus.

Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization is a type of therapy that helps people to move away from negative thoughts and memories. EMDR also helps many forms of mental illness.

By concentrating on a thought from the past, the person is able to find out what cognitive distortions they have been feeling. Cognitive distortions are false beliefs about oneself that produce negative emotions.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy can help to alleviate the lack of concentration. It helps identify the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are contributing to brain fog.

The therapist can teach the individual coping skills to help reduce brain fog. Therapists may prescribe supplements or medications as part of a treatment strategy for brain fog.

Group/Family Therapy

Group therapy can help with brain fog by providing an opportunity to share experiences. Often, brain fog is not due to lack of focus or lack of sleep but is an indication of an underlying medical condition.

The good thing about group therapy is that it can provide access to medical services without having to wait. Group therapy can also be more cost-effective than individual therapy.

One of the basic premises of cognitive-behavioral therapy is that brain fog and lack of focus may be caused by distorted thoughts and beliefs.

One way to change these thoughts and beliefs is through family therapy. Through family therapy, it is possible to identify and change these distorted thoughts and beliefs.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS can help people with brain fog by sending magnetic pulses to stimulate the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is linked to lack of focus and brain fog.

TMS has been found to be effective for depression. It can take 20 sessions for improvements in moods to be apparent. TMS must be done under the supervision of a professional neuro-physician or psychiatrist.

qEEG/Brain Mapping

qEEG training is when you use biology to help control your brain. You do this by looking at the data and learning how to make it work better. qEEG training can also be used to make your brain work better.

In adults who suffer from mental fatigue and other symptoms, qEEG has been found to be successful in treating cognitive deficits. ADHD, moderate cognitive impairment, and brain damage have all been treated with no negative effects.

Brain mapping with qEEG is a safe and effective method to identify brain fog. It can also help monitor progress with brain fog treatment, such as neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is a technique that is used for people who suffer from brain fog. Neurofeedback can be used to improve and decrease certain brain waves and to sharpen the synapses of the neurons.

Neurofeedback is a procedure that bypasses the normal route of transmitting information from the brain to the body. It implants the feedback back into the brain’s neural pathways rather than passing it through synapses.

This helps to strengthen and increase the firing of certain neurons. The process is non-invasive and requires no surgery or medications.

Spravato Therapy

Spravato therapy is a growing technique that is being done for people who are looking for relief from pain. Spravato therapy can help with chronic pain, but it also has benefits for use in acute pain.

Dr. Robert Schleip invented the therapy after seeing a gap in the market for evidence-based therapies for persistent pain. He dedicated years to learning how to use this unique approach to alleviate chronic pain without using drugs or surgery.

Spravato therapy was developed to work with the autonomic nervous system. This allows for specific techniques that can be used to help with chronic pain, but also provide relief from acute pain.

Spravato therapy has been found to aid those who have been diagnosed with brain fog. People who are given Spravato report that they are able to think more clearly, less anxious, or less depressed.

Concluding Thoughts on Lack of Mental Clarity

It’s hard to focus when your mind feels foggy and cluttered. Mental clarity is the key ingredient for those who want to feel more focused, productive, and creative. If you are struggling with this issue on a regular basis, we can provide help through our medical staff! 

Start by taking advantage of our consultation service. We can assess if there may be an underlying cause or reason as to why mental clarity isn’t happening naturally. Don’t wait any longer, start living life at full capacity today!

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