If you have anxiety and have had trouble thinking clearly, that may have been brain fog. Many people experience it from time to time, whether they have anxiety or something else. While brain fog can be common, anxiety might make it happen a little more often. In this article, we will look at the relationship between anxiety and brain fog.

What is brain fog?

Brain fog can make it difficult to focus and think like you are trying to see through a thick fog. It can also be described as feeling like you are mentally fuzzy. It can make it harder for you to focus on completing tasks. Some of the symptoms of brain fog include:

  • Slower thinking
  • Confusion
  • Trouble focusing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Haziness
  • Memory trouble
  • Losing your train of thought

Brain fog is not a medical condition on its own, but it is a symptom of many other medical issues, including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, cancer, ADHD, and multiple sclerosis. Some of the causes of brain fog include:

  • Chronic illness
  • Lack of sleep
  • Mood disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydration
  • Medication side effects
  • Chemotherapy
  • Burnout
  • Hormonal changes
  • Drugs
  • COVID-19

How is brain fog linked to anxiety?

One of the big symptoms of anxiety is excessive worrying and overthinking things. This can lead you to become mentally weary. The brain fog will come from this fatigue. The brain fog might feel worrisome or frightening, which will then trigger your anxiety. It can become a permanent and frustrating cycle where one feeds into the other one.

When you have anxiety, it essentially monopolizes the way your brain functions. It can take over to the point that it interferes with other tasks, including how you process information, concentrate, remember things, and pay attention. Anxiety can lead directly to brain fog.

Anxiety is part of the brain’s fight or flight reaction, and it can make your brain prepare to be ready to do what you need to survive. The hormones that your brain produces when you are in that fight or flight mode are intended to keep your brain and body alert and ready to act. If your anxiety keeps you in that state for too long, it can sap your energy and leave you feeling physically and mentally drained, giving you brain fog. For some, this state does not really go away, leaving your brain in that fight or flight mode, which means your brain is busy and can be foggy.

Tips for Handling Brain Fog

Now that we’ve looked more at how anxiety and brain fog are connected let’s look at some tips to help lift the brain fog.

Find the Source

The first thing to figure out is the source of your brain fog. Are you stressed out about something going on in work, school, or family life? Did you have trouble sleeping last night? Have you not had enough coffee or skipped breakfast? These sources are pretty easy to nail down.

However, it might be hard for you to find the source of your brain fog if you do not have an obvious cause like one of the ones mentioned above. If you have anxiety, that might be the reason that you have mental fog, but there also might be another cause you are unaware of.

Get More Sleep

Lack of sleep is a big cause of brain fog, whether you have anxiety or not. If you are consistently having brain fog symptoms and wake up not feeling rested, that might be the source. Try finding things that will help you get a better sleep quality each night to help reduce your brain fog. This is often easier said than done, but we have some tips to help you sleep when you have anxiety.

Spend Time on Your Hobbies

Life can be busy and hectic, which can take away from your hobbies. Try to make more time for self-care and things you love that relax you. Even just one hour a day doing something you love can help you recharge and get through brain fog.

Try Changing Your Diet

If you are not eating healthy, your brain might be struggling because it does not have the fuel it needs. Try to make your diet a little healthier to help you with your brain fog.

Talk to Your Doctor

If the source of your brain fog is eluding you, talk to your doctor about what is going on. They might be able to recommend medical or lifestyle changes that will help.