Anxiety can often cause confusion. You might feel more stressed, and you might also feel as if your surroundings are covered in a fog. Confusion and brain fog are two common symptoms of anxiety. You might experience confusion, even if you have mild anxiety.
Sometimes you might feel confused about the anxiety you experience. You might not be able to understand why you’re anxious, and it can worsen your symptoms. Too much stress and anxiety can also cause depersonalization or derealization. These can make you feel like you’re in a dream or that your body isn’t real. Depersonalization and derealization are responses to excessive stress.
Here are 12 ways you can overcome confusion and brain fog and fight anxiety:
1. Take notes
Keep a journal or write down your thoughts and memories regularly. Forgetfulness, as a result of anxiety, is different from forgetfulness due to aging or head injuries. When you experience anxiety, you become so confused and distracted that you stop paying attention to new information that your brain can use to make new memories.
This is why you often have a hard time understanding things when you’re experiencing anxiety. You can learn to be in the moment by taking notes of things around you when you feel confused. If you think you can’t do it, you can ask someone else to do it for you.
Taking notes will help you become less forgetful, and you’ll be able to improve your memory with time. You’ll also be able to pay more attention to your surroundings this way.
2. Reality exercises
When you’re experiencing confusion and brain fog and feel that nothing is real, you have to do something that will help you stay grounded in reality. You can try to do reality exercises to remind you that you’re still a part of reality.
Whenever you feel depersonalization or derealization, you can wash your hands to get those feelings. You can also close your eyes and repeat positive affirmations to yourself. If you’re with a friend or a family member, you can hold their hand or tell them to hug you. Alternatively, you can focus on color. The trick is to focus on how something makes you feel.
While exercise is mostly considered a treatment for anxiety, it’s also a great way to combat confusion and brain fog. Regular exercise can stimulate the memory creation mechanism. If you exercise every day for at least 30 minutes, you’ll focus better on tasks.
According to one study, regular exercise helps increase people’s hippocampus. It also increases neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize or form new synaptic connections. Neuroplasticity helps people adapt to changes by creating new neural connections, and it happens in the hippocampus.
In another study, people who had better cardiovascular fitness also had better brain function. So, get out there and start your exercise routine.
4. Be kind to yourself
People who suffer from anxiety are usually not being nice to themselves. Well, if you have friends that always criticized you, you would stop being friends with them, right?
If you suffer from anxiety, then you might be criticizing yourself a lot. And chances are, you don’t even notice it most of the time. Self-criticism can aggravate your anxiety. Whenever you feel confused, you start berating yourself, and this leads to even more confusion.
You can stop that by learning to be kind to yourself. When you make a mistake because of your anxiety symptoms, remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes and then start doing the task again.
Another thing you can do is not worry about something that went wrong immediately. When you’re doing something, and you feel like you messed up, please don’t start to worry about it right away. Instead, take 10 minutes each day to worry about anything that might have gone wrong during the day.
5. Get to the source
You have to figure out what’s causing your confusion and brain fog. Depersonalization and derealization are caused by stress, which means you’re more likely to experience confusion and brain fog when you feel stressed.
If you can identify the situations or things that are causing you to feel stressed, you can do something about the confusion and brain fog, too. If it started happening only recently, then it might be easier to identify those situations. But, if you’ve been experiencing anxiety for quite some time now, then it might not be as easy.
Maybe you’re stressed out about a work project, or perhaps your family is giving you a hard time. Whatever the cause is, once you’ve identified it, it’s best to talk about it with your therapist, who will be able to help you find a way to stop letting it stress you out.
This solution can’t be stressed enough. Sleep is more important than any other solution you’ll read online. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you will feel confused. Sleep deprivation can make it hard to think straight, even if you don’t have anxiety.
If you stay up late to watch Netflix one night, that probably won’t affect your mental health, but if you turn it into a habit, then good luck trying to make sense of things when you wake up the next day. Regular sleeplessness will make you feel more groggy, and you’ll become more irritable.
You can drink coffee to help you stay more alert, but coffee might worsen your anxiety symptoms in the long term. Regardless of the activities, you should sleep for 8 hours every night.
7. Do things you enjoy
As you grow older, it becomes harder and harder to do the things you enjoy because of work and other commitments. Being unable to experience joy can stress you out. No one wants a life where there are only work and no play or fun.
It’s good to spend 30 minutes or at least an hour doing things that you enjoy. You can try playing video games, reading books, hanging out with a loved one, gardening, doing yoga, etc. Doing anything that will help you unwind and relax will do wonders for your body and brain.
Meditation is a great way to help you feel more relaxed and focused. When you start to feel confused, or your surroundings stop making sense, you must do something that will help you focus. Meditation can be the answer.
Meditation can help you increase your physical and emotional awareness and regulate your emotions. Here’s something you can do to get started:
- Find someplace quiet to sit and get comfortable.
- Whatever thoughts enter into your head, don’t try to resist them.
- Don’t judge your thoughts, but don’t try to cling to them, either. Accept them as they are. Remind yourself that these are your thoughts, but they don’t necessarily define who you are.
- Do this for 5 minutes and then gradually increase the time as you get more comfortable with meditation.
Doing this every day will help you to better accept your thoughts, which will help you cope with excessive stress and confusion.
9. Eat healthily
Not eating the right food can also cause confusion and brain fog. When you don’t eat enough, you feel weak, and you find it hard to focus. When you feel stressed, it becomes hard to make balanced meals, and you’ll end up eating snacks or fast food instead. These junk foods will make you feel even more tired.
Anxiety can cause stomach problems that can make it hard to digest your food. You might feel nauseous if you skip a few meals, which will make you even more tired. Nurtientists recommend that you add the following foods to your diet:
- berries and leafy greens
- whole grains
- fish and poultry
These foods will improve cognitive functions, and they’ll help you feel less confused. Just make sure you stay hydrated since dehydration can be a cause of brain fog.
10. Take a break
When you experience brain fog or confusion, you’ll often feel the urge to finish whatever task you’re doing despite experiencing anxiety. The best thing to do when you feel confused is to take a break. It’s never a good idea to allow yourself to continue working when you experience brain fog.
You might feel as if taking a break will stop your progress, but the only thing it’ll do is make you feel even more anxious to complete the task. You won’t be able to focus correctly, and your productivity will start to decrease. Manage that temporary anxiety by telling yourself that a short break will increase productivity.
Take a short break whenever this happens. Get up and do something that will help you relax your mind. Read a book or listen to music. When you get back to work after taking a short break, you’ll notice you feel more relaxed, and your productivity has increased, too.
11. Create a stress management plan
It’s common to get more stressed as you grow older. It happens to pretty much everyone. However, everyone handles anxiety differently and has different levels of anxiety tolerance.
To cope with stress, you can create your stress management plan:
- Set a schedule in which you allot time for self-care. Do some activities you like in your self-care time.
- If your schedule is full and you already have too much work to do, don’t accept more work from other people. Learn to be more comfortable, saying no to people. Remind yourself that your mental health comes first.
- Come up with at least three ways to cope with stressful situations. Use breathing exercises or reality exercises.
Keep a journal or a small notepad in which you can write about situations that stress you out.
12. See a therapist
Talking to a therapist is a long-term solution, and it’s probably the most effective one. A therapist will help you figure out what things are causing you to experience confusion and brain fog and work with you to eliminate those causes.
Sometimes brain fog can also be a symptom of depression, so it’s best to discuss this with a professional therapist. They’ll help you understand any unexplained emotional or physical symptoms you may be experiencing.
Brain fog and confusion can be frightening symptoms of anxiety. They can make you forget things quickly, and you might have difficulty making sense of things because of them. But if you try to understand what’s causing them, you can figure out a way to cope with them. Talking to a therapist is the best solution, but other short-term solutions such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises can help, too.
Alternatively, if you need to seek psychotherapy, be sure to check out ahealo.com. Ahealo is an online psychotherapy platform with a diverse range of psychotherapists for many different fields of mental challenges. Ahealo provides ePsychotherapy at an affordable price, confidential, convenient (through a web page 1-1 private video call), and at your comfortable schedule.
With these options, we believe your insomnia can be resolved soon.
Take care and stay well.