Key Tips for Improving Focus and Beating Brain Fog
Endometriosis fatigue and brain fog are two of the symptoms that I battle with the most, and I haven’t fully yet mastered. As I’m self-employed, it’s essential I’m able to get through my day and do a good job, and so I have developed tools and techniques to help me improve my focus. Today, I’m sharing with you a few of my favorite tips for beating the brain fog.
I start each morning with a short, five-minute meditation. If meditation intimidates you, think of it as simply preparing your brain for the day ahead. You’re just getting your brain cells in order.
I practice mindfulness meditation. Back when I first started, I used Headspace, and I would still recommend Headspace now – I think it’s brilliant and the only reason I don’t use it is because I wanted to cut back on my expenses! In fact, Headspace has a whole series dedicated to helping you stay focused.
If you can’t afford the apps but would like some guidance, there are some great meditations on YouTube, I really like The Honest Guys. They have a short 3-minute mindfulness meditation, which is great to start off your morning or use throughout your day.
Mindfulness meditation has actually been shown to significantly improve our focus, attention spans, and cognitive function.1 In fact, Headspace found that their app improved focus by 14%.2
This is not dissimilar to meditation, but instead of using the practice as a meditation, I try to use it as an anchoring tool. I am currently studying Integrative Women’s Health Coaching and part of our module on mindfulness was being aware of our day-to-day tasks in a mindful way. So many of us rush from task to task, or flit between them, always busy, not often productive – and at the end, we’re usually burnt out and exhausted. This is even more difficult if you add something like brain fog into the mix, which can affect your ability to think clearly.
One way to counteract this feeling of overwhelm and gain some mental clarity between tasks is using the breath to signify the end of a task before moving onto a new one. So after I’ve completed an article, for example, I will take three deep breaths while focusing only on my breathing, before starting a new activity.
Lion’s Mane is a discovery that has changed my life. I first heard about Lion’s Mane on a podcast interview with Paul Stamets, who is a researcher, scientist, and mushroom expert. He talks about the benefits of using the lion’s mane mushroom for enhanced memory, cognitive function, and focus and the mushroom is now even being used in research on Alzheimer's patients. I take a teaspoon of lion’s mane a day, split across intervals. This really helps me feel clear and focused, and I’ve honestly never felt sharper.
This is a slightly odd one. I personally find I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I’m working – I end up singing a long and I get too distracted by the melody. Instead, I find background music channels on YouTube, ‘focus’ playlists on Spotify, or put on Classic FM. More recently, I’ve adopted listening to Brain.fm. They create music scientifically proven to affect mood and cognitive function. The music is weird, and kind of sounds like you’re in a video game, but it works!
I’d love to hear your tips for improving focus! Share with me in the comments.
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