Misty mountain scene representing brain fog
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How to clear your mind and reduce brain fog

7 Aug 2018

Sometimes, our heads can feel like they’re full of cotton wool. But there are a few ways to clear it out at work.

Brain fog or mental fog can happen to the best of us. It’s those days when you feel like your head is nothing but fuzz and you can’t focus on anything in front of you. Sometimes you can’t even procrastinate successfully.

You’re just trundling through your day without being able to do much of anything and you can’t even think clearly.

Because brain fog is caused by an array of things such as lack of sleep, poor diet or overworking, a lot of the solutions are often things that you need to fix in the long-term.

Of course, it’s incredibly important to take steps towards a better diet, a healthier sleeping pattern and perhaps a digital detox. However, for those of you sitting in work right now suffering from brain fog, these things aren’t helpful for this very moment.

So what kind of instant corrections can you make during your day that will help rid your mind of brain fog? We’ve got a few tips.

Clear the clutter

Cleaning up your desk is often a procrastination tool, but sometimes a little bit of directed procrastination can do your brain the world of good.

If you’re struggling to focus on your work, give yourself a break to tidy up the clutter around your desk.

The same goes for your desktop and maybe your emails. If every time you open something and it feels cluttered, give it a clear out and see if that clears some of the brain fog too.

Go for a walk

This is one of our favourite go-to tips for anything related to stress, feeling overwhelmed, unable to focus or just can’t think creatively.

If you take five or 10 minutes to walk away from your desk and get out in the fresh air, you will be amazed how much that can help clear your mind.

Sip water constantly

One of the causes of brain fog can be dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Even if you’re not particularly dehydrated but instead you’re suffering from low energy or lack of sleep, a glass of cold water can wake up your brain and keep you alert in the moment.

Be sure to keep hydrated when you leave work too and get a good night’s sleep later.

Get a fruity snack

Snacks can also be a good source of energy, provided they’re the right ones. If your mind is particularly fuzzy, a sweet treat might seem like a good burst of energy but it will only bring you crashing down later on.

Get your sugary energy boost from a piece of fruit or, if you’re really craving something sweeter, dark chocolate might be the answer.

It contains the stimulant you need to focus with a minor amount of caffeine and sugar, but also has a lot of phytonutrients that can help your body be healthy and strong.

Brainstorm with someone

If you’re struggling to think things through properly, bouncing ideas off of someone else can be a good way to clear the cobwebs from your mind and get your thoughts flowing.

It’s a good idea to do this face-to-face with someone as it’s more effective than email and will get you into a better workflow than sitting at a computer trying to think of ideas.

Not to mention that physically getting up and walking over to someone else’s desk to talk to them will also help clear that pesky brain fog.

Change your workspace

This is another one of our favourites when it comes to helping to clear a fuzzy head and staying focused. We’ve talked about this before but, in short, there are a few simple changes you can do to refocus your mind.

If possible, change your physical scenery. Take your laptop off to work somewhere away from your usual desk. Stick on your headphones and add some ambient noise or background music that might help you focus.

You might also choose somewhere with different lighting depending on what might help clear your mental fuzziness.

Clearing brain fog can be slightly different for everyone, so figure out what works best for you, and then look at addressing the bigger picture of getting more sleep, less stress and a healthy diet.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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