1. MAXIMIZE ON THE BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY DIET
Let's cut to the chase; your body is like a machine with many parts working together to make that machine run smoothly. Your brain is the central part of your machine. It’s only 2% of your body weight, but it uses over 20% of your body’s energy. While it may carry out millions of tasks each day to keep your body running smoothly, if you don’t take care of it, it can reach a point where it starts to slow down and affect your memory, focus, and concentration.
Just as you wouldn’t put the incorrect fuel in your car, your brain also needs the right types of foods to work efficiently.
Knowing what to eat throughout the day can have an immense effect on your ability to focus and concentrate. It can also significantly impact both your short-term and long-term mental health, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
Are you a chronic breakfast skipper? I've been trying to change this up and add in a smoothie or light breakfast because people who eat a well-balanced breakfast tend to have a better short-term memory than those who don’t pay much attention to it or skip it altogether.
A Fibro Fog busting diet needs to hit minerals and vitamins that have real potential to improve your memory should include:
MINERALS & VITAMINS
Magnesium is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and soothing effect on the brain. It’s a mineral that can help rid of stress in the brain. It can improve your memory and enhance your learning skills. Whole grains, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and seafood are some foods that contain magnesium.
Zinc is essential for the healthy production and performance of brain cells. Zinc deficiency can lead to foggy thinking and memory loss. Shellfish, lean red meat, legumes, seeds, and nuts have high levels of zinc.
B vitamins are known for maintaining good brain health. Thiamine (B1) immensely helps boost mental strength and short-term memory. Vitamin B6 is crucial for keeping up focus levels. Vitamin B9 (folate) sustains memory and healthy brain function. If your body lacks vitamin B12, it can cause brain fog, confusion, and memory loss. Foods high in B vitamins are leafy greens, eggs, salmon and trout, milk, beef and chicken, shellfish, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, and legumes.
Vitamin D can be a helping factor because it aids in serotonin production, one of the ‘feel-good’ hormones that help keep you focused and calm. Vitamin D is high in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Eggs and mushrooms are also high in vitamin D.
Vitamins E & C contain antioxidants that work to eliminate free radicals and help your memory stay sharp. Get your vitamin E & C from citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, papaya, leafy vegetables, carrots, avocado, almonds, and sunflower seeds.
Research shows that protein, found in lean meat, eggs, beans, and nuts, is also perfect for concentration and focus because it’s considered the brain's building block.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, tuna, black cod, and flaxseed. Omega-3 fatty acids work to keep your brain functioning properly.
While supplements aren’t substitutes for real food, they can come in handy, especially when your body lacks certain minerals and vitamins and you’re unable to provide them through your daily diet. It’s a good idea to consult with your physician before starting on any dietary supplements. Your physician may want to recommend specific vitamin doses to fit your nutritional needs.
Our brain is 85% water, and the brain's neurotransmitters and hormones need water to function. When you drink plentiful amounts of water, you’ll be able to stay focused and alert for longer.
2. EXERCISE & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Exercise can help you to get your memory back where it should be. Take a walk and free yourself from any frustration and stress that you may be experiencing.
When you're exercising, your brain receives a boost of oxygenated blood, supporting more focused thinking. Incorporate other activities that involve physical activity.
Walking at least 30 minutes a day can help you be more focused, and increase your memory's sharpness is a deterrent to improving your memory. It hinders your focus, confuses your thinking, and diminishes your memory. You can also improve your memory through meditation or using breathing techniques to reduce fear and worry.
Play word games and complete puzzles. They will improve your memory and help you to concentrate better. Concentration is needed to have that sharp mental edge of remembering things.
3. SLEEPING TECHNIQUES
Fibro fog often goes along with the fatigue that many people living with fibromyalgia experience.
We must get enough sleep to be able to function correctly. The average amount of sleep that a person needs is between six and eight hours every night.
Many people don’t get enough sleep, and as a result, their memory suffers. Lack of sleep can cause a lack of alertness. It affects concentration when completing tasks.
Many people with fibromyalgia find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep due to varying reasons.
Some rely on medication to get some shut-eye. However, that does not always work or has unfavorable side-effects, like feeling drowsy or slow-minded the next day.
Consuming large quantities of alcohol can be very dangerous, but some people rely on it to get to sleep. Drinking alcohol can leave you feeling incoherent and unfocused the next day. Not only that, if you are a habitual drinker, you can have serious medical issues later in life.
Here are some useful strategies to get to sleep that do not require the use of drugs or alcohol:
Don't focus on falling asleep. The more focus and concentration you use for that, the more difficult it will be for you to fall asleep. Instead, imagine that you are somewhere in a relaxing atmosphere.
Keep the lights off while you are in bed. With the lights on, it can make it difficult for you to go to sleep.
Use a schedule where you do the same things every evening. Having a routine when you are preparing for bed can help you fall asleep. Your body will signal when it’s time for you to crash.
Have a routine when waking up and going to bed every morning and evening. On the weekends, try not to sleep more than you need to. When you oversleep, it cannot be easy to sleep in the evening. Oversleeping can mess up your routine.
When you are in bed, you should not watch television, read, eat, or use your phone. The bedroom should be a peaceful sanctuary where sleep is your priority.
If it takes you more than a half-hour to get to sleep, you should move to another quiet room. You could read for a few minutes or watch a TV program that you have no interest in. Go back to your bedroom and try falling asleep again. You may have to do this more than once for you to get some shut-eye.
Once you start getting enough sleep every night, your brain will start working to improve your memory. You will be well-rested enough to think clearly. Your brain will be very active, and you will recollect things that you could not do previously.
Improve your sleep with a weighted blanket - If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or insomnia you understand how overwhelming and frustrating it can be to get the rest you need. While there are many natural remedies and medications available, one option to consider that is quickly picking up in popularity is using a weighted blanket.
4. PLAY AROUND WITH AROMATHERAPY & ESSENTIAL OILS
I'm sure there are certain events in your life that you connect with specific smells. Perhaps you happen to get a whiff of perfume or cologne, and it makes you think about things in the past. Using aromatherapy can help amplify bringing something back to memory. Essential oils provide a fragrance from leaves, bark, flowers, and aromatic fruit that can be used as stimulants to your brain.
Peppermint and eucalyptus are two essential oils used in aromatherapy to help you concentrate more and be mentally aware of what's going on.
Sage enhances and improves your memory, while basil and bay laurel are others that stimulate the brain.
Mint, or essential oils with a citrus fragrance, work to stimulate your brain and help you to remember more. Inhaling some peppermint oil can be particularly beneficial for people with Fibromyalgia. It works to stimulate your brain, removes pain, and provides comfort for an upset stomach.
Rosemary is another essential oil that is used in aromatherapy to enhance and stimulate your brain. If you are a student facing an upcoming test, you can use this essential oil to help you.
In addition to being a brain stimulant, aromatherapy is considered a technique to soothe your mind and release stress. Some examples of soothing oils are chamomile and lavender.
Whatever essential oil you use, take a cotton wool ball and place a few drops of oil on it, then inhale the scent. You can use more than one oil at a time. You can create a unique blend that suits your needs.
Before starting the aromatherapy and essential oils process, here are some things to keep in mind:
Check with your physician, particularly if you have any medical conditions, or are pregnant, to ensure that the fragrances and oils do not cause adverse reactions.
The oils are not to be consumed internally, and they are not to be applied directly to your skin.
5. BE YOUR UNIQUE SELF, & GET CREATIVE
There are many tips and tricks that you can use to improve your memory. Some of them are unique and creative. Regardless of how unusual some of them may seem, they will work if you put them to the test.
You can use them in the categories of reasoning, acknowledging different patterns, and math problems. Whatever exercises your mind is right for you.
Here are some creative and logical ways you can stimulate your brain to improve your memory:
Read books whenever you get a chance. Spend at least an hour a few times a week reading fiction and non-fiction books. If you have a full-time job, read on your lunch hour. If you commute using public transportation, read on the bus or the train.
If you like animals, purchase a fish tank and include fish of various colors. It can introduce you to a whole new world.
Decorate your home with different colors. Studies have found that color can influence memory and attention. Use green in rooms you want to be calming, such as your bedroom, or orange in your study to support concentration.
Listen to music that will stimulate your brain. Certain kinds of music can put you in a relaxed mood.
Play some board games such as chess or Scrabble. These games can be a challenge and help to stimulate brain cells.
Connect with other people who have something in common with you. It can help to also get together with relatives and close friends that you don't see very often. If there are clubs in your area, join one that you have an interest in.
Don't be afraid to reach out and explore new things. Trying different things when it comes to improving your memory is important. Engaging different senses helps to stimulate your mind, improve your memory, and can also help you to relax. Being active keeps your mind sharp and focused.
Read Next: How to Get A Better Night's Sleep