Brain Fog: It Might Not Begin In Your Brain

“Brain fog.” I have it bad.

Fog is the right word, too…a feeling that clarity, memory, and focus are just out of reach, beyond a misty veil in my brain. I know the good stuff is there because I can glimpse it — but not very well or for very long.

I find this to be one of the most frustrating symptoms of this time in my life. Investigating why brain fog is so prevalent in today’s society (and particularly for women at midlife) has led me to some interesting theories about the second brain — our gut.

The more I read and research, the more I’m coming to believe that the health of our bodies AND our minds begins with the complex biome of our bellies.

Turns out, what we put into our bodies might be one of the most important things we can do for healthy bodies and our minds.

There are many foods that trigger brain fog and chances are, you already know what those are. It can differ for everyone, but I know that gluten and dairy are big “foggers” for me. Stress and sugar are also nasty culprits.

All added together, you’ll find me staring off into space, struggling to find the right words, forgetting what someone just said to me, or wondering WHY DID I WALK INTO THIS FRIGGIN’ ROOM and WHY IS MY PHONE IN THE BUTTER COMPARTMENT OF THE FRIDGE??!

Exercise, good sleep, and stress reduction are vital to great brain function, but what if I told you that our health is actually 80% what we put into our body and 20% physical movement? Turns the 80/20 health thinking on its head, right?

I had to ask myself: Am I willing to give up foods that I love in order to sweep away the fog? What’s it worth to me to be able to think clearly, focus for longer periods of time, and be more creative and innovative?

What’s it worth to you?

When I did my 90-Day reset, I eliminated my food culprits and noticed a HUGE difference in my thinking and productivity! I’m now wishing I’d made those changes permanent. In fact, I’m coming to believe that my quality of life and the quality of the work that’s so important to me depend on me doing so.

Are You Addicted To Solitude?

Hello, my name is Tracy and I’m addicted to solitude.

If you suspect you may be a solitude-aholic or love someone who is, please read on.

Symptoms include:

· Extreme irritability when you don’t get enough time alone.

· Being irrationally irritated when someone’s in your personal space when they could clearly be in any space on the planet somewhere away from your space. There’s lots of space to go around, yo. Go there.

· Crying jags accompanied by fantasies of checking into a hotel room by yourself for a week where you can write and think and sing and fart and dream in peace.

· The need for a fix of solitude so intense that you’ll hook up a 32’ trailer, which you’ve never pulled before, and drive three hours to a KOA in Napa, in the rain, to seek it out. (Or maybe this one’s just me…)

· Immense feelings of relief when you do get a fix.

· Followed by guilt.

· Worries that you’re abnormal for courting, longing for, and loving what others skeptically side-eye as weird, lonely isolation.

Remedies include:

Solitude. Duh.

If you suspect that you or someone close to you suffers from a solitude addiction:

  1. Go away.

2. Do not, under any circumstances, take it personally.

3. Realize that alone time is the go-juice that some people need the way others need a venti macchiato with an extra shot of whatever it is that makes their blood vibrate.

4. It’s not weakness or eccentricity. It takes strength to bear the weight of presence of others when all you want is a little time to be dynamically present with your own soul.

It’s striking, and arguably presumptuous, that Webster’s second definition for solitude is, “a lonely place (such as a desert).”

Such narrow definition for the vastness of space — space to commune with yourself and ALL that you contain!

I find solitude to be neither lonely nor barren. The soil of my solitude is fertile with creativity, which best germinates in the still air of silence.

In the moments that I get the solitude I crave, loneliness is impossible. The company I keep is interesting and brimming with soulful visions, thoughts, and plans that more often come to fruition when allowed to blossom in isolation.

If this is you as well, rest easy and know that you’re a brave explorer. You go where some dare never to go. Plant that solitude flag on high ground and enjoy every single solitary minute of it.