Written by Dr. Inez Van Roy on
November 15, 2021
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Inez Van Roy on:

Do you ever find yourself in the middle of an important meeting and suddenly your mind goes blank?

You stare at the person across from you, but can’t remember what they were saying. Although frustrating, it is also completely normal. 

We all experience mental fog on occasion. Our minds wander to past mistakes and worries. You are not alone in these moments. Mental fog affects us all at some point during our lives.

However, there are ways that we can build more consistency into our mental clarity. In this article, you will read how to support mental clarity and brain health, and what it is.

What is mental clarity?

Mental clarity is what we all strive for. It’s what allows us to be fully present and attentive in any situation, whether it’s a meeting or having dinner with friends.

Mental clarity comes with the ability to maintain focus on the task at hand without distraction. You achieve optimal performance as a result of this mental state.

When your mind is clear, you are more likely to be able to work better and faster. Usually, mental clarity is dependant on our overall brain health. 

The opposite of mental clarity would be mental fog or brain fog. When you experience this mist in your head it can be difficult to maintain focus on the tasks at hand. This can be caused by any reason, as explained below.

What causes brain fog? 

There are many possible causes for mental fog.  Below you will find the most common reasons which may be causing your brain to feel like it’s in a cloud.

Do you have any preexisting conditions, check this article to see if it could be associated with that. You might want to take some time and go over these points, what is happening with you on an everyday basis?

What makes your mind cloudy? After looking through what is causing your mental fog, you will be able to take the appropriate steps towards achieving better focus.

Lack of Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep each night, your brain is simply unable to function at its best.  When we don’t get the right amount of rest this takes a toll on our cognitive function.

It results in poor concentration which leads to lower mental clarity making it more difficult for us to stay focused. We all know what that feels like.

Stress 

Stress is what most people would consider being the number one cause of mental fog.  When we are stressed it releases cortisol into our bloodstream which makes us feel unfocused and tired.

This effect becomes even worse when stress continues over a long period. While there isn’t much you can do about your stressful situation right now, you can find ways to manage your stress. 

Distractions

When you’re constantly being disrupted what is happening? You might be talking to a coworker or friend and your phone rings, you stop what you were doing to check the notification.

This means that whatever was going on in your mind gets interrupted by something external. This doesn’t support mental clarity. It’s important to learn how to prioritize what you need to do and what not.

Mental clarity is something we all strive for, but often it can be difficult to achieve the level of focus that would result in optimal performance. Through self-reflection, you might manage these tasks better.

How do I get mental clarity?

There are many ways to achieve mental clarity, depending on your circumstances. While there is no silver bullet solution that would work for everyone, a balanced lifestyle will always be good for your overall well-being.

Exercise Regularly 

When you exercise what happens? You release endorphins which will improve your mood, giving you a better chance at achieving mental clarity.

Further, regular aerobic exercise can also aid in lowering stress levels which are what keep you from being able to focus. You might want to try yoga, tai chi, or pilates as they all have a positive impact on your mental clarity.

Take Charge of Your Nutrition

The food you eat has a huge impact on what is going on in your mind. Nutrient deficiency can negatively impact cognitive function and brain health.

It is recommended to consume a diet that includes healthy fats, lean protein, and whole grains. A nutrient-dense diet can help your body and mind fight inflammation, and keep your energy levels up.

Also, if you are hungry what happens? You feel unfocused as well. Try taking some time to prepare yourself a healthy meal and bring some snacks to work with you. The next time that your stomach starts distracting you, you come prepared. 

Get Quality Sleep

Getting restful sleep is very important for your brain health. Many accidents happen because of a groggy feeling due to a lack of sleep. Quality sleep can improve your energy levels and is an essential part of a balanced life.

Reduce Your Stress

Chronic stress is a killer for your productivity and your concentration. It is important to work on reducing your stress as it is correlated to various health issues. Meditation or any form of physical activity is known to reduce chronic stress.

Meditation for Your Mental Health

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. If you’ve never tried it before, now is the time. Meditation can help you focus on what you want in the present moment. It can also guide you to let go of the past and the future (and the included stress).

If your mind starts wandering off during meditation, you can acknowledge whatever it is. There is no need to judge or use negative self-talk. 

These things will do wonders for your overall well-being and can help you achieve what is mental clarity. You should take time to reflect on what could affect your concentration levels.

It’s not what most people want to hear but this reflection might bring clarity on what is going on from day today. 

Does brain health or mental clarity decline as we age?

Many people refer to mental clarity as to the feeling of ease in which they can concentrate or maintain attention. Many refer to the opposite as a mist in the head that impedes them from really keeping their focus.

It could also be that they complain about memory loss due to a lack of mental clarity (or deterioration of their brain health).

While a reduction of mental alertness and memory could be a normal sign of aging, memory loss could also indicate Alzheimer’s disease.

It is difficult to say if age makes people decline in mental clarity, as usually this is not directly measured. We can however confirm that there is an overall cognitive decline.

Most noticeable is that older people need more time to make a decision or process information. This speed is relevant in working memory or executive functioning.

On a biological level, researchers noticed that certain age-related problems seem correlated with the loss and dysfunction of neurons. They also found an overall cognitive decline.

A healthy lifestyle as mentioned above could be a protective factor in the fight against cognitive decline.

Is there a mental clarity medication?

It would be great to have a little pill that could reduce brain fog. Sadly enough, at this point, there is no medication to specifically improve mental clarity.

Medication can help you with what it is meant for, but not what you want from them in terms of your concentration levels. A doctor can provide medical advice on the matter. 

Brain supplements and vitamins could be the first step to support your brain health when it is going through a difficult time. Below we will discuss some of the most popular herbal supplements for those with brain fog.

Mental Clarity Supplement

Ginkgo Biloba

This plant is known for its ability to improve blood flow in the brain. There are many herbal supplements on the market that contain this ingredient, what’s important is that it contains what it says on the label. 

Some of these products have more Ginkgo than others so be careful when you buy them online or offline. This is important to avoid any complications.

Bacopa Monnieri

This ingredient has been around for thousands of years in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used to improve memory and cognitive function in general, also what is mental clarity or focus related. 

Caffeine

This ingredient will help you feel more energized if your problem is a lack of energy due to mental fatigue. Caffeine can be very effective when taken correctly.  It can however cause what is a jittery feeling for some people.

L-Theanine 

This amino acid has often been used to support mental clarity and focus, but also what is a good balance in general. It does this by working synergistically with caffeine while keeping you away from the jitters.

Coconut Oil

This healthy fat has many benefits that go beyond what mental clarity or focus may offer. It can also help in this area when taken regularly (and not only on the days you need an extra boost).

It helps reduce brain fog by allowing your body to produce what is a ketone that the brain can use as a source of energy. 

Vitamins for Mental Clarity

B Vitamins (Vitamin B12)

It is recommended to take vitamin B12 (and the others) in as B vitamins complex, as they balance each other out. Vitamin B12 helps to keep the brain cells alive and healthy.

It also has a role in what is known as methylation. This means that it contributes towards maintaining proper brain function by influencing what are called neurotransmitters (chemicals present in your brain). 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is what could cause cognitive decline or what can be called an overall mental slowness. The importance of this vitamin for your general health should not be underestimated.

A lack of B vitamins has been linked to other severe diseases such as heart disease and cancer. 

Vitamin D

This is what healthy fat is essential for the body to function properly. It helps regulate what are called cell-to-cell communications. This means that it contributes towards making your brain communicate with other parts of your central nervous system (such as neurotransmitters). 

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to what is an increased risk in cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment can come with dementia, age, or acute/ chronic stress. 

Concluding Thoughts

While what is recommended for mental clarity and brain health may vary from one person to another. It is safe to say that a healthy lifestyle is the first step.

If you eat a complete diet, there should be no deficiencies (or any brain fog). Those who need extra help can take brain supplements or vitamins. If the problem persists, a doctor can provide medical advice.

Want to learn more about achieving mental clarity and maintaining a healthy brain? Check out these educational resources on mental health and join this community of mental health enthusiasts!

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of


This discord family is a safe place where we can all (anonymously if we choose) talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.

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