Do You Ever Feel ‘Foggy?’

Do you ever wake up and feel brain fog? The night before, you set for this day and the goals you want to achieve but, suddenly, you feel foggy as if you can’t move. You know you want to work on them but, for some reason, you don’t know what to do, lest have the desire.

I’ve been there more than I care to admit. So, why does this occur? There can be several explanations but the basic one is that an unconscious thought arose and thwarted you.  To understand some basic facts from neuroscience, the thought(s) that arose released some chemicals, particularly cortisol, which goes immediately to the prefrontal cortex or the executive function of the brain.

This, then, puts you into a threat state and we can almost feel paralyzed from taking any action. Because it feels threatening, it’s easier to stay right where you are – in the comfort of your daily actions and life.

Essentially, change is what is leading to the fog – moving from what you know to what you don’t know. So what is the answer? How do you move forward to your goals and this uncharted territory?

There are several steps that I have found that should help you, too:

  1. Be aware of your feelings, and then dig into your thoughts – feelings are going to be known but it all starts with the thoughts. When you feel that flutter in the stomach, irritability, anger, sadness, etc, that is when you want to stop, breathe, and then check into any thoughts you are having. Writing them down helps to identify and capture them.
  2. Take a pause – breathe, yawn, stretch, stand up; all of these will calm your mind and body so you can focus on the issue at hand.
  3. Self-talk – as strange as it sounds, self-talk can snap you out of the fog state. Reasoning with yourself and stating positives helps with motivation, as do positive affirmations. I have found this very helpful to dispute any negative thoughts I am having.
  4. Ensure your daily goals are written – it’s not enough to keep them in your head with all the millions of other thoughts you are having.  Writing them makes them real, so then you can identify specific actions to take. I find fulfillment in crossing off those steps as I get them done.
  5. Use the 5-Second Rule – if you haven’t heard of it, the 5-Second Rule was developed by Mel Robbins and is a way to circumvent  the pause so you take immediate action. I used it today to get up an hour earlier and walk before I started my day; it sounded so good last night but not so much this morning. However, I made the statement to get out of bed and counted 5-4-3-2-1 and immediately stood up. I did take that walk.

I hope these steps are useful for you. Our brains can be a hindrance or we can use them to their fullest. You can train your brain for more positivity and productivity. It all starts with the intention and then action.