Eliminate Brain Fog - Reclaim Your Focus, Memory and Joy
July 04, 2016 -Dr. Mike Dow
An epidemic is sweeping the country that is often called “ADHD,” “scatter brain,” or “brain fog.” Others say they “just don’t feel like themselves,” and haven’t for a long time. Dr. Mike Dow looks at why and says our brains are not getting the support they need to produce the essential brain chemicals that keep us energized, calm, focused, and inspired. In fact, if you look at the way that most of us live, it’s almost as though we had chosen a lifestyle deliberately intended to undermine our brain chemistry.
Fortunately, there is a solution. The Brain Fog Fix is a three-week program designed to help you naturally restore three of your brain’s most crucial chemicals: serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol. Rebalancing these three brain chemicals will in turn enable the rest of your brain’s chemistry to reach optimal levels. You will find yourself thinking more clearly, remembering more accurately, learning more quickly, and unleashing the floodgates of your creativity.
The good news is it’s easier than you think. Instead of trying to ambitiously overhaul one aspect of your life entirely with some difficult-to-maintain resolution, begin by making small and achievable changes in many different areas of your life. (There’s more about his online course at the end of this article.)
Dr. Mike is the cohost of Sex with Brody on E!, Couples Therapy on VH1, and My Strange Criminal Addiction on Investigation Discovery. He is the author of The Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory and Joy in Just 3 Weeks (Hay House, 2015).
He has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctorate in Psychology, and has worked for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. Dr. Mike is registered with the California Board of Psychology and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and has a private practice in Los Angeles.
Have you personally experienced brain fog?
I experienced a terrible case of brain fog when I was dealing with some incredibly stressful experiences: my dad’s health problems, a breakup and a very busy career. I gave up healthy ways of eating, connecting, thinking and even praying in my life as a result of stress and a painful time in my life. I stopped practicing yoga, started staying up until 2 or 3am., ate and drank too much and stopped connecting with friends.
My life choices were setting me up for both psychological and physical problems. Loneliness, for example, has been shown to be more hazardous to your health than even smoking or obesity. But I found that “feeling like myself again” wasn’t all that hard. I just had get back to making the simple and everyday choices that would restore my clarity and joy.
Why are increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with brain fog?
The way more and more of us are living our lives contribute to the many forms of brain fog: ADHD, anxiety, depression, dementia and insomnia. There’s not just one cause. It’s about the way we’re eating. It’s about the changing nature of relationships, spiritual life and even longer commutes.
More factory-farmed meats mean we’re eating more pro-inflammatory omega-6s and less anti-inflammatory omega-3s. More packaged food, flour and sugar leads to blood sugar spikes that don’t just lead to weight gain and diabetes; they fog the brain and set us up for dementia and depression. More Americans now live alone than in any time in history, and our social networks are shrinking. We sit more, walk less, take more medication and have given up spiritual practices in favor of binge watching the latest Netflix series.
New technology is supposed to make us more productive so we have more time to enjoy our lives, but research shows being constantly tethered to Tweets on your iPhone actually make people less content, less productive and less present. This may sound all “doom and gloom” which is why I wanted to create simple and easy 7-day fixes for all these lifestyle problems. The 7-day Mood Revolution, the 7-day Energy Revolution, and the 7-day Spirit Revolution in The Brain Fog Fix will easily reverse all of the common problems of everyday living.
How does the 7-day Mood Revolution in The Brain Fog Fix work?
They 7-day Mood Revolution focuses on changing your diet and changing the way you think. I’ve researched the dietary patterns that banish brain fog and have combined them with clinically proven cognitive behavioral therapy strategies that make your thoughts more optimistic and productive.
You’ll eat one of my omega-3 superfoods every day. Some of these foods are actually surprising choices like farm-raised rainbow trout which is high in omega-3s, low in toxins like mercury and sustainably caught! Bonus: It’s cheaper than wild salmon. Vegetarians will learn how many walnuts or flaxseeds they need to get the same omega-3 boost. You’ll reduce the amount of omega-6s you eat by banishing factory-farmed animal products and cutting out products that contain soybean oil. You’ll stop fogging your brain with blood sugar spikes by switching from pasta salad to bean salad or berries. You’ll pair these dietary changes with changes to thought patterns.
Each day, I’ll explain one of the 7 pitfall thought patterns like pessimism, polarization, permanence or pervasiveness. That day, you’ll “watch” your thoughts and will see how seeing the world through a lens of polarization may actually prevent you from seeing the shades-of-gray solutions that could help you to feel better in your life. The result: improvements in mood that will only continue as you incorporate at least some of these changes into your everyday life.
How does the 7-day Energy Revolution in The Brain Fog Fix work?
The 7-day Energy Revolution helps you to feel more vital with a media “cleanse” and reprogramming your sleep-wake cycles. You’ll do something unheard of these days: going three hours per day without a computer, phone or tablet. This will help you to feel more engaged and less distracted. The decreased exposure to the blue light of electronics also helps to reprogram your sleep-wake cycles. You’ll wake up earlier and expose yourself to the healing power of natural, morning light which has been shown to improve mood and can even help people to lose weight. Forty-four minutes of exercise per day will help to increase neurogenesis – the birth of new brain cells – which is one of the best ways to banish brain fog and boost energy.
What is “Mommy Brain,” and what can you do about it?
The science behind “Mommy Brain” is real. It’s about the brain changing for the better as it primes you for the most important task: connecting to your newborn child. Processing speed slows down and many women also experience depression. One simple dietary change: eat anti-inflammatory foods and get enough omega-3s. Also: focus on what you love about being a mom and get really good about asking for help when you need it.
Why is what you call the “Modified Mediterranean Diet” so good for the brain?
The “Modified Mediterranean Diet” in The Brain Fog Fix is like the Mediterranean Diet on steroids. It takes the principles we know work like eating more olive oil, fish and red wine. But it also takes it to the next level: the fish you eat will be only those high in omega-3s and low in toxins. The limited meat, dairy and eggs will all be organic to boost omega-3 intake even more. It also focuses on some brain superfoods like turmeric which is native to Indian diets and blueberries which have been shown to protect the brain. These simple changes put the brain in an anti-inflammatory state that increases the amount of neuroprotective antioxidants, which can prevent both depression and dementia.
What’s so dangerous about this “Epidemic of Loneliness” you talk about?
Research shows that extreme loneliness is actually twice as deadly as obesity, and yet, more and more Americans are now living alone than in any point in history. Our “real” social networks are shrinking despite the fact that the number of “friends” we have on Facebook may go up. This information is a call to action to redistribute our priorities. Replace 30 minutes of TV watching, work or texting with face-to-face, phone-free connection with loved ones every day. It’s just as vital to our health as exercise and a healthful diet.
What does this epidemic of “Digital Distraction” do to the brain, and what can we do about it?
It’s so easy to become perennially digitally distracted with all the new forms of media these days. Brain scans show that people who think they’re multitasking are simply switching rapidly between tasks. The burdens of task switching can lead to a 40 percent decrease in efficiency! Heavy multitaskers are also unable to filter out irrelevant information in their environments. Maybe some of the inattention in our culture can be cured by learning how to “single-task” mindfully as opposed to a prescription for Adderall.
Your chapter on “Spiritual Starvation” claims that a lack of faith can cause physical and medical problems; what can we do about that?
I’m not here to tell you what to believe in; I am here to tell you to find something. Spiritual practice is essential to banishing brain fog because it strengthens the most advanced part of the brain: the prefrontal cortex. Practices like meditation and prayer have been shown to significantly improve memory, reduce depression and treat insomnia.
What are “senior moments” and are they reversible?
If you have trouble remembering where objects are located, finding the correct word or remembering names, you may have what my grandpa calls his “senior moments.” The good news: these are reversible in most cases if you use them as an opportunity to eat more senior moment-preventing foods like berries and turmeric, engage in more activities like traveling and gardening. When it comes to the brain, it’s “use it or lose it.”
——Take The Brain Fog Super Fix Course Online——
Dr. Mike Dow has put a course based on The Brain Fog Super Fix on-line. To learn more or to sign up for the course click here. or on the banner at top.
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