Anxiety is complex and has developed over millions of years to ensure our survival. Often anxiety symptoms may combine to produce a feeling some people call anxiety brain fog or interchangeably, brain fog anxiety. Most of us already know about the symptoms of anxiety, running mind, racing heartbeat, overthinking, terror, and restlessness.
By comparison, brain fog is linked to apparently different symptoms: a slowdown in thought and treatment, a "not being sharp" feeling, and a feeling of being “off” while being unable to correct it. So how are these two seemingly disparate neurological experiences intertwined to create one inseparable anxiety brain fog experience?
While there are many other causes of brain fog, but in this article, we talk about how anxiety and brain fog integrate, intertwine, and can feed each other. The symptoms of anxiety brain fog, and the treatment of anxiety brain fog. A foggy brain can make you feel off, and having anxiety on either side of it can be debilitating to your day to day. Below we will discuss some treatments of anxiety brain fog to get you focused, alert, and ready to take on any day.
Can Anxiety Causes Brain Fog?
Anxiety brain fog may occur because one symptom causes the other, creating an escalating, enhanced feedback circuit. While severe medical conditions underlying brain fog can occur, they can also be affected by stress and sleep loss. Without an energy outlet, anxiety can be mentally extinguishing and this emotional fatigue can be accompanied by brain fog. Even thoughts of mental tiredness can lead to brain fog symptoms, making it even harder to fight anxiety and stress. Some people also get brain fog after surgery due to the mental fatigue caused by the anesthesia.
When fear is already present, the mind is literally exhausted by ruminating and worrying and running thoughts. With all its alertness and processing abilities, brain fog can take over. There is a feeling of unfamiliarity and increased anxiety. And more fog in the brain. It could feel like a fatal cycle.
Understanding these causes can make you more aware of why fog and anxiety in the brain can occur together. The reaction of the brain to fear will make it feel exhausted and foggy. The response to combat or flight is an automatic reaction to fear. In the face of extreme stress, the brain changes its activity to be ready to do what it needs to survive, either fight or flight.
How does it happen?
In reaction to stress and anxiety, the brain organizes the production of hormones. Brain and body cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are used to keep you alert and ready to act, but when those hormones are too long or in excessive volumes, they overwhelm and exhaust your brain, leading to brain fog.
Additionally, during your anxiety brain fog:
- Cortex activity, the area of rational thinking, decreases
- Hippocampus activity, used for learning and memory is reduced, which explains the confusion, lack of ability to focus, and memory loss associated with brain fog
- Amygdala activity accelerates to keep you awake and ready to fight, even before you understand what’s going on. This is why the brain fog has associated rational thought with a decrease.
Symptoms to check
If the symptoms of these problems were to be described in one word, this word would be "tired." Brain fog, anxiety, and tiredness are all connected. Tiredness is, without any doubt, the center of anxiety in the brain fog. Anxiety appears to overcome our whole brain and dictates our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is exhausting to live in a state of anxiety. Anxiety can also cause issues with sleep. And this fatigue can then lead to brain fog, thereby causing the following symptoms:
- Concentration and focus problems
- Unclear and foggy thinking
- Memory problems in the short term
- Logical reasoning difficulties
- Information processing difficulty
- Inability to follow instructions
- To feel "off"
So, what are some treatment options for the anxiety brain fog?
5 Best cures for Brain Fog Anxiety
Anxiety brain fog does have cures and treatments. Many of these can be done naturally, like recognizing the anxiety, reframing it, getting proper rest, and sleep, and being mindful of your awareness. A lot of the brain fog anxiety is driven by constant tiredness and racing thoughts, therefore rest has a huge play in the treatment of brain fog anxiety. Without further adieu, here are 5 treatments for anxiety brain fog:
Recognize the anxiety : Sure, it’s easy to write this into words, but tough to implement. When you feel a flutter in your stomach and feel your anxiety come on, identify it, and recognize it. Take deep breaths, and notice your surroundings. Hear the silence, touch something you recognize, and focus on an object far away while breathing. This will bring you back into the now.
Reframe the anxiety : Next time you feel anxious, reframe it to one of two things. Either that you care about something enough to be anxious to do it, such as a future event, or that you are really excited to do something. In the case of excitement, recognize and reframe your anxiety as excitement and crush the experience!
Rest and Sleep : For a fatigued, overwhelmed brain, there is nothing better than rest. For our brain and mental health, sleep might be one of the most important things we can do. The science continues to show the many advantages of sleep and, particularly when it comes to anxiety, the disadvantages of insufficient sleep! Restorative sleep could be one of the best things you can do in the field of brain fog and anxiety. Get at least 7.5 hours a night. As far as rest goes, make sure that when you’re completely engrossed in running from one task to another, you take a break. A break could mean 20 seconds to look away from the computer, or to completely walk away from what you’re doing so you can stretch, relax, recharge yourself and get back at it.
Manage Stress : Stress is a silent killer, for your anxiety, and ultimately your brain fog. Some strategies to mitigate stress:
- Set limits with people so you have some “me-time” to do whatever it is you desire
- Be comfortable saying "No" when you're already busy with requests for assistance
- Journaling your mood and emotions whenever you feel quite a bit of stress. It helps to write down what you feel, and why to better understand your emotions.
Talk to a friend or a professional therapist : Many people do not know that they are dealing with anxiety because in particular, they do not feel too worried about anything. However, the symptoms of anxiety can vary greatly and often include physical and emotional experiences. Any unexplained emotional symptoms can be identified and explored by a therapist; therefore it is always a good option to reach out. Brain fog could also have a symptom of depression, so it is best to talk to a trained professional, such as a therapist or a crisis counselor, as soon as possible if you feel low, hopeless, or have thoughts about suicide.
- Ocon, A. (2013, April 5). Caught in the thickness of brain fog: Exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Retrieved June 01, 2020, from