What is ‘Brain Fog’ and how can Hypnotherapy help?
Hello everyone… hope the day finds you well! So, last week we started our weekly A-Z Menopause blog with Anxiety,…I hope you found it interesting and insightful!
This week B – is going to be covering ‘Brain Fog’.
I remember this all too well when I was in the midst of my darkest surgical Meno’ days. It was something that became so incredibly worrying for me but obviously for my family too. My son was studying to become a Mental Health Nurse at the time and actually asked to carry out a Dementia Assessment on me because he was so concerned. Fortunately, I passed without a problem, but it really brought home to me just how much this was affecting me and others in the household…. Thank goodness for Hypnotherapy that helped me turn a corner. I was so overwhelmed by the positive changes that it brought for me, I went and trained to become a Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist at CPHT Birmingham.
So, what exactly is ‘brain fog’ and how did hypnotherapy help?
Well, do you find yourself struggling to recall words, names, or facts that you know you should know? You can feel like it is on the tip of your tongue, but you just can’t quite reach it. Perhaps you keep misplacing things such as your phone or keys, or just leaving things behind when you know you should be taking them with you. Work meetings that you would have easily been contributing to, throwing ideas on the table, leave you feeling overwhelmed and a little out of control.
Brain fog makes us feel clunky and sluggish in our thoughts and memories and it is a very real and unpleasant symptom of Menopause due to the fall in the production of reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
The fluctuating levels of oestrogen can disrupt thermoregulation circuits in the hypothalamus and the knock-on effect of this on our sleep, which is often attributed to night sweats or just a feeling of overheating in bed. There is a well-established link between sleep and brain fog and research attributes memory lapses and inability to concentrate to disrupted sleep, especially in women who have hot sweats and night sweats.
Sonia Davison, consultant neuroendocrinologist to the Jean Hailes Foundation states “Hot flashes and sweats, sleep disturbance, low mood and anxiety, all can have a negative impact on higher brain function.” And Jen Gunter writes in The Menopause Manifesto, “Women who are under more stress, have depression or anxiety, have other health concerns, or who aren’t sleeping well and/or who have more vasomotor symptoms are more likely to judge their cognitive performance more harshly.
Vasomotor symptoms can even prime the brain to be more receptive to negative experiences. This is the mind-body connection in action.” So, now you can start to see what a vicious cycle this can become – a lack of sleep leads to brain fog, the brain fog leads to stress, the stress leads to negativity which leads to poor sleep!!
So, now you can begin to see the reason Hypnotherapy was my turning point as what it allowed me to do was a) empty my stress bucket through the use of trance (hypnotherapy) b) apply the 3P’s approach of focusing on positive interactions, positive activity and positive thoughts and feelings (psychotherapy) – thus releasing more of the happy hormone Serotonin. (See my previous post/blog and https://dsjhypno.com/my-approach/ page for more information or book a FREE, no obligation consultation to find out more.
This simple process was enough to break the negative cycle by re-programming the brain into a positive pattern through neuroplasticity. Plasticity is the capacity to be shaped, moulded, or altered; neuroplasticity, then, is the ability for the brain to adapt or change over time, by creating new neurons and building new networks, thus enabling you to move away from any limiting patterns that have been brought about by hormonal changes and taking you closer to living your best life!