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Improve Your Mental Clarity with These 7 Strategies
Find out what’s causing your ability to think straight, and learn how to improve your clarity of mind with these 7 simple strategies.
Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t I think straight?” Does your mind often wander when you’re supposed to be focusing on a task at hand? Do you get frustrated when your brain decides to float off in its own world? As it turns out, a lot of us have trouble with our clarity of mind, and there’s a reason for that.
Getting older is a beautiful thing, but you do require a few extra steps to maintain our cognitive function as the years pass by. Think of your brain like a car. The more time you devote to maintenance, the longer your car stays in good shape. Treating it poorly and doing things that damage it will only lead to more heavy-duty maintenance in the future. And hey, if you maintain your car in good shape for a while, it may even become a classic antique. (Talk about valuable!)
Your brain accumulates wear and tear that affects how you process things as you get older. There’s a multitude of causes, but struggling with clarity of thought is ultimately a normal part of everyday life. Cars get slower, brains get older. However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. You can take steps to alleviate or even avoid brain fuzz altogether, and here are 7 probable causes of brain fog and solutions for improving your mental clarity.
It should be no surprise that drinking alcohol has negative effects on brain cognition and clarity of mind. Alcohol affects a large portion of the brain, especially when heavily consumed. It slows the pathways of neurons, which can lead to memory loss over time.
If you don’t already, try limiting your alcohol intake per week. Need some extra help with this? Apps like Sunnyside and DrinkControl are easy ways to track your alcohol consumption each week. Once the drinks per week start to dwindle, you’ll quickly notice your ability to think clearer.
You are constantly consuming media throughout our day. Whether you’re looking at a computer screen at work, checking your phone during a break, or watching a movie or show at home after work, your brain is constantly processing information. Too much screen time is directly linked to experiencing burnout, which affects your clarity of mind. It’s like leaving your brights on all night.
Unplug for a while. Make a point to spend a significant amount of time away from any screens or media. Something as small as setting a timer for your notifications to be turned off can have major effects on how much time you spend looking at a screen.
Your body is influenced by what you use to fuel it. If you’re constantly eating sugary, processed foods, chances are you tend to struggle with clarity of thought. When you put bad fuel into your body, it won’t perform the way you want it to.
Try tracking your daily macros, and make sure that you’re getting enough quality fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your diet. Focus on plant-based, unprocessed foods. Try to consume Omega-3 fatty acids that have been linked to higher brain cognition. Your body and your brain will thank you.
Cognitive abilities decrease with sleep deprivation. Sometimes, you stay up extra late or get up extra early in order to get more stuff done, but this ultimately ends up hurting you more in the long run. Don’t leave your engine running; give it a break.
Try to get a minimum of seven hours per night. In addition to improving your mood and reducing stress, getting more sleep per night will allow you to create better work in a shorter timeframe than usual because it improves your clarity of mind. This ultimately allows you to get more work done throughout the day without the pesky wandering thoughts.
Lack of Movement
More sedentary populations tend to have higher rates of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s dementia. In fact, one study found that cognitive decline is almost twice as common among adults who don’t regularly exercise compared to adults who do regularly exercise. When you work in an office setting all day and then go home and watch TV, it is really easy to forget to get some movement in your day.
Daily exercise, even if it’s just a walk around your building, releases chemicals in your brain that lead to a better memory and an elevated mood. It also improves your sleep and reduces stress and anxiety. For more tips on how to reduce anxiety or stress, check out our step-by-step guide.
While exercise is a good and necessary part of the day, too much of it can take a toll on your brain. Don’t overcompensate on exercise because you expect it to immediately solve your problems. Your body can compute too much strenuous exercise as stress. When you exercise, your body internally interprets it as a stressor. Working out too much can cause more damage than good. Make sure your incorporate recovery days into your workout routine.
Disorders and Underlying Conditions
Depression, sleep disorders, and even vision loss can affect your clarity of thought. Additionally, some medications, especially anticholinergics, can slow your cognitive processing. Of course, living with these conditions is oftentimes not by choice, but understanding how they can affect you will ultimately help alleviate your ability to think straight.
Talk with a physician about your condition and how it may be affecting your clarity of mind. They should be able to work with you on balancing out these effects with proper medication and treatment.
What is poor mental clarity?
- Poor mental clarity is also commonly known as brain fog. There are several causes, both internal and external, that contribute to brain fog, but there are ways to fix it as well.
How do you regain mental clarity?
- By following our 7 strategies to improve clarity of mind, you’ll begin to experience less brain fog and more productivity throughout the day.
How do you get mental sharpness?
- Mental sharpness takes time. You can train your brain and your body with various strategies to build up your mental sharpness day by day.
How do you improve your clarity?
- You improve your clarity by assessing what could be affecting your brain cognition and taking steps to address those issues. Oftentimes, it’s related to small everyday practices that can be easily fixed.
There are so many ways in which external or internal forces could be influencing your clarity of mind. Luckily, there are easy ways to learn how to improve mental clarity that you can do in your day-to-day life. For more information on how to take care of yourself and improve efficiency in the workplace, check out more of Joycheiver’s blogs in our Joy Journal.
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