31 Oct Mental Clarity: Are your thoughts cloudy?by
Mental clarity issues are becoming a very hot topic these days. Parents now come to me looking for something to help their children as well as themselves. There are a multitude of reasons we can suffer from decreased “mental” power. Issues like not enough sleep, stress, diet, lack of exercise and too much on you mind are just a few of the more popular causes. I joke with people that they “just have too many trains on the track” and that is why their thoughts aren’t clear. Whatever the reason may be, natural medicine can offer some quick easy solutions to clearing up your mental fog.
With regards to diet, cleaning up your diet is a great start. Eliminate refined foods like sugar, pasta and other “white foods” can have an immediate impact. Avoiding the consumption of alcohol and caffeine will also be beneficial. Even though caffeine will help in the short run (occasional use), it will have negative effects if used day after day.
Getting enough rest is another lifestyle choice that will help immediately. Regretfully too many people just don’t make time for sleep or they have such an active mind that they can’t fall asleep. My suggestion is to use herbs such as valerian root and passion flower to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. This works great for those who can’t sleep due to an overactive mind.
Increasing your activity (exercise) will also have an immediate impact on your mental clarity. I recommend 30 minutes of brisk walking every day. By increasing your activity you will improve circulation to the brain and help take some of the stress away. I find it a great way to clear your mind so you can focus on the things that are most important.
Focusing on what is most important brings me to another suggestion. Write down all of the tasks that you have before you. Then, put them in order of priority and only work on the task that is at the top of the list. I always say that scattered light isn’t that bright, but a laser beam is very powerful. Trying to take on too much at a time will make you have decreased mental clarity and inefficient at your work or school.
The above lifestyle changes will help significantly and with the addition of supplements you will significantly improve your mental clarity. Let’s take a look at a few that will have an immediate impact and can be used for extended periods of time.
B-Complex- Primarily B-6, folic acid and B-12 are important for neurotransmitter production. Since you should never take any one B-vitamin by itself I suggest using a B-Complex to get these three nutrients.
Magnesium- I always recommend Magnesium be taken with B-Complex. B-vitamins work together with Magnesium in the process of balancing your neurotransmitters and helping you body adapt to the stress it may be under. By balancing your neurotransmitters, your body will have improved mental clarity-just give it a try.
Omega-3s- Fish Oil-more specifically DHA is considered the more important nutrient because DHA has been linked to improving memory, as well as many other aspects of mental health. Using 1-3 grams of fish oil in your children and 3-6 grams in adults will have a great impact on your memory and mental well-being.
Ginkgo Biloba- This herb has long been considered the memory herb. Using 120mg per day of a standardized ginkgo will help clear up your mind. Its ability to improve circulation is probably its best attribute, but it also possesses other health benefits beyond memory and mental clarity.
Lion’s mane- This medicinal mushroom is becoming more and more popular for its mental health/memory benefits. It is one of my favorites for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease concerns.
Sometimes just the aging process can decrease your mental clarity. Here are a few supplements to look at if you fall into this category:
Lecithin Granules 2 tablespoons twice a day
Another overlooked area of mental clarity is the stress factor. Chronic anxiety, tension or stress can lead to short term memory issues. For those of us living in that world I suggest using herbs such as Reishi, holy basil and perhaps ginseng. This is a unique approach that can often do the trick after only a few weeks.
No matter what your age, mental clarity will most likely be an issue. As we fill our daily routine with more and more things it will become even more difficult to focus. Incorporating my suggestions will help your body and mind adjust to these burdens and keep you focused like a laser beam-not a 10 watt bulb.