Do I have brain fog?

Stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, diet and some medical conditions including anaemia, migraines, arthritis, depression and even dehydration can cause mental fatigue. If you are struggling with concentration, memory or clarity of thought, consult a healthcare professional to establish a diagnosis.

1. It’s all about the little changes

Small mental challenges are great ways to test your brainpower – try counting backwards from 100 in 2s, 3s or 4s, or try to remember the ingredients in your favourite juices without looking at a recipe. Easy to do while you’re commuting or – even better – on a run, it’s a great one to exercise both mind and body simultaneously.

2. Move It

A recent study by scientists in Australia and Manchester shows that aerobic exercise helps our bodies to fight cognitive decline, reducing the deterioration in brain size, which ordinarily occurs as we age. The study’s lead author, Joseph Firth, says: “Exercise can be seen as a maintenance programme for the brain.”

3. New Tricks

Active learning helps your brain to develop new neural pathways and the start of a new year is the perfect moment to commit to your personal development. Turn to page 66 for
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4. New Tricks

Yes, having a good chuckle really does help our brains. Ever noticed how good it feels when you enjoy a real belly laugh? According to science, laughing minimises the damage that the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause to our ability to learn and remember. So next time you’re feeling stressed out, find a good comedy on Netflix or head to a comedy club for a mental boost.

5. Go Social

Ditch your Instagram feed for an hour or two and get together with some friends to catch up in real time. As well as boosting our emotional wellbeing, chatting with others enhances our attention span and memory recall as we follow and help to develop a good conversation. Even more reason to grab a copy of Super fast Food and invite your mates over for dinner this weekend.

6. And so to bed

Your mother was right, a good night’s sleep really is important. In fact, scientists found that sleep deprivation can result in reduced metabolism and blood flow in multiple brain regions. So make sure that you get your zzzs each night… If you are struggling to drop off when your head hits the pillow, turn to page 56 to learn how to unwind and get some quality sleep tonight.