These words, these feats, are becoming harder and harder for the average adult to achieve these days.
Because just as a blanket of cloud covers a bright sky, a fog has gradually covered the brain of most adults.
In this technologically-advanced, fast-paced world, most adults turn to attention enhancers (like caffeinated products) to be functional.
The sad part is that these enhancers can buy you a couple of minutes of attention at the most. Leaving you with different side effects.
Brain fog has taken our society by storm.
People pay a fortune for the ability to concentrate on a task for 15 minutes at a stretch nowadays.
It’s that bad.
In this post, I attempt to answer questions like; what brain fog is, what the symptoms are, what could cause brain fog, what’s the relationship between brain fog and porn addiction, what the effects of nofap are on brain fog, and how to eliminate the fog in your brain using nofap.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog isn’t in itself a medical condition; it’s a symptom of other medical conditions according to Healthline.
Brain fog is a term that describes a cognitive impairment characterized by forgetfulness, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration, and inability to focus.
It can start affecting your performance at school, at work, and your day-to-day activities depending on the severity of the brain fog.
Symptoms of brain fog
If you experience any of the symptoms below, you might be carrying around a fog-covered brain in your head;
Forgetting things one time or the other is human nature.
But, when your forgetfulness starts becoming more frequent than you’d like, you might be suffering from brain fog.
A foggy brain makes you forget trivial things like why you walked into the kitchen, where you put your car keys, the items on your to-do list, and so on.
When this forgetfulness becomes apparent and noticed by those around you, that’s an indicator of brain fog.
Lack of concentration, focus, and mental clarity
Your ability to focus on a specific task directly correlates with how successful you can be.
When you can’t hone in on a task, a lecture, a video, or a book for a long duration, might be a symptom of brain fog.
With this state of mind, mental tasks become daunting.
And at those rare moments when you get “in the zone” and able to summon that focus and concentration, a single distraction will derail the whole zone-in you have going on.
For instance, a single notification on your phone will take you from that school project you just started working on, to two hours of Facebook.
A foggy brain makes you very prone to distractions.
Forgetting words, Choosing the wrong words, and Spacing out during conversations
Have you ever been in a situation where you just can’t find the right words in a conversation?
The words are right there, but they seem out of reach at the same time. Your conversations don’t engage others and you often cut them short as a result.
This especially happens when you’re talking to people you’re not quite familiar with. This symptom of brain fog has forced a lot of people to become introverts, a shy person, or a guy that “doesn’t talk that much”.
When articulation, eloquence, and expression becomes difficult because you can’t hold a chain of thought long enough in your mind, you might be suffering from brain fog.
Sleepwalking or daydreaming through your day
The foggy brain lacks the energy to pursue constructive habits and tasks. So, it tends to engage in indulging habits, almost always, at your detriment.
This has a significant effect on how you spend your time.
A giant time vortex—where nothing ever gets done consumes your morning, afternoon and night.
Binge-watching Netflix, playing video games excessively, PMOing non-stop, binge-eating junks are activities that fill this giant time vortex.
The lack of motivation and willingness to tackle the day head-on to achieve something tangible is apparent for someone that has a foggy brain.
Unexplainable, Longer than Usual, Chronic Mental and Physical Fatigue
When you’re always mentally and physically tired, for no explainable reason, it might be that you have brain fog.
Brain fog symptoms in NoFap Lingo
PMO addicts procrastinate, are chronic latecomers, struggle with cognitive tasks like school writing projects, can’t concentrate on a task for 20 minutes straight, forget things in a snap, are too tired to get out of the couch on weekends, constantly daydream in the middle of something important, spend TOO much time on social media, set plans and fail to stick to those plans, zone-out of conversations, meetings, or lectures, don’t know what to say in conversations (especially around females), can’t find any excitement outside of porn.
Causes of brain fog
Brain fog is unique from all the other symptoms of porn addiction.
Its uniqueness is that there are a lot of other health conditions and lifestyle choices that can contribute to a foggy brain.
As an example, the average adult (while at home) averages about 12 hours of screen time per day. That means out of the 24 hours in a day, we spend half of it staring at a screen (and this is only at home).
The average adult today consumes five times more information than his counterpart 50 years ago.
The dark twist is this; the human brain can’t handle and process all this information all at once.
So, our brains keep getting slower and foggier as a direct implication of living in a fast-paced world.
The point I’m trying to make is that porn addiction is not the only cause of brain fog. There can be other causes of brain fog which you might not be/be aware of.
Don’t worry, you’re about to learn all the possible causes of brain fog and what to do to cure it.
That said, if you’re a porn addict, addiction to porn is STILL a major contributor to your brain fog. The logic is if you’re on nofap and your brain fog isn’t lifting as fast as you’d like, you should try and look beyond nofap to cure your brain fog.
For some people, nofap alone will be enough to see a remarkable improvement in their brain fog, while some people will still need some other lifestyle changes—depending on the other causes in the first place.
Now, on to the causes of brain fog—for the context of this post, I’ll start with the big one which is porn addiction.
How porn addiction caused your brain fog
Brain fog is a cognitive impairment that falls under the umbrella of hypofrontality.
Why the fancy name hypofrontality?
All the cognitive-lack or cognitive-lag that characterize brain fog—forgetfulness, lack of short-term memory (working memory), lack of focus, lack of concentration, are all functions of the frontal region of the brain. Hence the name hypo-front-ality.
Hypofrontality is a hallmark of ALL compulsive behavioral addictions. And not only behavioral addictions, but it also characterizes substance addictions (like alcohol or drugs).
The addict (be it behavioral or substance) has nothing on his mind than his addiction. In the case of the porn addict, there’s always cravings for porn.
His mind is preoccupied with porn. Nothing is as interesting as porn. So, nothing deserves his attention than porn.
He finds it extremely difficult to focus or concentrate on tasks for a long duration without the flashes of porn interrupting his mind now and then.
Also, with the impairment of the working memory that comes with hypofrontality, forgetfulness is at its peak for the porn addict.
To make this point hit home, let’s look at some neuroscientific studies that have lumped porn addiction into the class of compulsive behavioral addictions:
Porn addiction Neuroscience-based Research #1
This 2018 study published in the behavioral science journal saw strong evidence for considering addictive Internet behaviors like internet pornography as behavioral addictions.
The research recommended that The American Psychiatric Association (APA) should add internet porn addiction to their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
The researchers reviewed available neuroscientific studies on porn addiction and fitted the results to the behavioral addiction framework.
They found that internet porn addiction crossed every t’s that a compulsive behavioral addiction needed to cross neurologically. And a part of those t’s is hypofrontality
Porn addiction Neuroscience-based Research #2
This 2011 study published in the journal of surgical neurology international established that hypofrontality syndrome is also seen in eating addicts—similar to substance addicts.
The study explained that sex is also a natural reinforcer like eating. So, the similar syndrome observed in the brain of an eating addict will also be observed in the brain of porn addicts.
The Dopamine Imbalance from watching too much porn
Dopamine is a reward hormone that makes you feel good for doing something. But addictions like internet porn remove the doing something part of the equation.
Internet porn short-circuits your brain; takes you to the reward without the doing part.
The harm in using porn to get to that dopamine is that the trip will over-stimulate your synapses (limbic region), release cortisol (the stress hormone), and overwork your nervous system.
As a result of this messed up cocktail of brain chemistry, your brain becomes tired and unfocused.
Scientists have claimed that for good brain function, three hormones—dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol (more on this later) are crucial.
When one of these hormones is not being secreted enough, being secreted too much, or not being picked up as it’s supposed to be, cognitive decline (brain fog) is highly likely.
Other Causes of brain fog
As I said earlier, there are other factors aside from porn addiction that can cause brain fog. And here they are;
Other dopamine-spiking activities/addictions
A dopamine spike messes up brain chemistry; which is followed by a tired and unfocused brain.
Aside from internet porn, the following activities are things we do (addictively) that causes dopamine spikes in our brain.
- Excessive video gaming;
- Too much of social media;
- Eating too much sugar and processed junks.
Stress and sleep deprivation
We live in an age where ‘stressed out’ is the new normal.
Between the 9 to 5, the constant anxiety, and the incessant over-stimulation of our minds through around-the-clock device usage, our body and brain rarely rest.
This has resulted in a pandemic of chronic physical and mental stress.
When we are stressed, the cortisol hormone is secreted. The secretion of this hormone is one of the leading causes of brain fog.
Another factor that causes brain fog is a lack of sleep.
When we sleep is when our brain detox. But if for some reason or the other, you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re disrupting the detox process. And this can, in turn, lead to brain fog.
Hormonal imbalance (Hypothyroidism)
The thyroid hormone runs the body’s metabolism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of this hormone.
As a result of this condition, the body doesn’t produce enough glucose. And glucose is the fuel that powers the brain.
Vitamins (A, B, C, D, B12) and minerals (iron, magnesium) are all crucial to brain health.
Out of all these vitamins and minerals, the deficiency of Vitamins (B12 and D), Iron, and Omega-3 essential fatty acids can hugely contribute to brain fog (more on this later).
Too much brain stimulants
Brain stimulants like caffeine, marijuana, and alcohol can have brain fog as a comedown/side effect when they’re overused.
Drugs side effects
Chemotherapy drugs used in the treatment of cancer can cause brain fog.
Also, sleeping pills, brain-stimulating drugs, can all have a side effect of clouding the brain.
Some medical conditions;
like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, anemia, depression, migraines, and multiple sclerosis can all cause brain fog.
Why nofap is not curing your brain fog YET
A question I get asked a lot by my readers is when will my brain fog will be TOTALLY gone.
“When will I be able to focus on a task? When will my concentration increase? Why is my brain still all over the place after 6 months of nofap?”
If at any time you’ve had to ask any of these questions (after three months of nofap hard mode), the answer is that you have other factors contributing to your brain fog together with your porn addiction.
To cure your brain fog TOTALLY, or to see remarkable changes, the first step is to (obviously) continue with your nofap. Because if you relapse on your nofap, and start watching porn again, you muddle up your brain again and the fog comes back worse than before.
The second step is to figure out what’s ALSO muddling up your brain aside from porn.
You can figure that out by really looking at the other causes of brain fog I listed above and pinpoint the ones that ALSO apply to you aside from porn addiction.
Thirdly, in addition to nofap, make the items on the list that follows a part of your lifestyle.
Ways to cure your brain fog while you’re on nofap
Before we get into it, I’ll like to give you a heads up that there are some affiliate links in this list. They are products that I use and have helped me get rid of my brain fog TOTALLY. I feel they’ll be beneficial for you too if you try them out. That said, if you buy through my link, you’ll be helping me out in maintaining this website. Thank you.
A healthy diet practice to fix your nutritional deficiencies
To TOTALLY cure your brain fog, the first place you need to seriously look at is your diet.
Eating the wrong types of food can greatly increase your brain fog. Your brain is powered by glucose (healthy glucose) and fat (healthy fat).
And one thing that will quickly dull your mind is consuming refined carbohydrates and HFCs.
The foods that’ll give your brain healthy glucose are; foods like beans, eggs, and so on. For your healthy fat sources, you can look to eat more avocados, olive oil, grass-fed meat, and so on.
Also, eat more vegetables and fruits for your vital brain vitamins like vitamins A, B, and C.
But apart from eating healthy, you should know that there are some vital nutrients for the brain that the general population is deficient in.
These nutrients are Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Omega-3 fat.
And incidentally, these nutrients are the most important to TOTALLY cure brain fog and have a sharp and focused mind.
To solve this problem, you need to include supplements of these nutrients into your daily diet.
Ideally, I don’t like consuming supplements that much. But these are vital nutrients that because of the location of where I live, and the options available to me, I have no choice but to supplement them. Also, these supplements are COMPLETELY harmless and have been scientifically proven to be so.
Vitamin D deficiency
Over 1 billion people in the world are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D’s primary source is the sun.
People living in North America and most of Europe are affected by vitamin D deficiency the most. Mainly because the majority can’t realistically get the sunlight that the body needs around the year.
When you’re vitamin D deficient, some of the things you experience are; getting sick often, mental and physical tiredness, lack of focus, bone and back pains, depression, hair loss, and so on.
To make sure you’re never deficient and you get this nutrient enough around the year, check out this supplement that I use. It’s the best supplement that you can use. It’s all-natural, cheap (it goes for just $15), and the best on the market. You can get it here.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Over 40% of the adult population is deficient in vitamin B12 and this has led to various mental and neurological disorders.
To get the best type of vitamin B12 supplement that your body will absorb quickly, an all-natural and potent vitamin B12 supplement, click here. When you click this link, you get a whopping 52% discount. But that’s only if you hurry.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids deficiency
These fats are found in high concentrations in the brain. The sources of this nutrient are wild-caught fish which the majority of people don’t have access to.
Deficiency of omega-3 has been linked with lower intelligence, depression, cancer, heart diseases, anxiety, lack of concentration, and so on.
For the most natural and effective-for-the-brain omega-3 which contains DHA, check out this product.
When you’re feeling foggy, forgetful, mentally fatigued, sometimes, the culprit could be a lack of adequate water in your body system.
Researchers have shown that our brain cells need water to function properly. When there’s a lack of water to the brain, short-term and long-term memory is affected and you tend to generally experience other brain fog symptoms.
The solution to this problem is simple.
Drink adequate water every day. Stay hydrated. If you wait till you’re thirsty before you drink water, then, you’re not drinking enough water.
It’s recommended by the N.A.M. that the average adult male drink 3.7 liters (15 cups) of water and an adult female should drink 2.7 liters (11.5 cups) of water per day. Of these requirements, you roughly get about 20% of this recommended intake from the food you eat and the beverages you consume.
Because I’m a math-Nutt, I’ve taken the liberty to calculate what 80% of the above recommendations will be;
That means daily, you need to be drinking at least 2.96 liters of water as a male and 2.16 liters of water as a female.
In Napoleon Hill’s life-changing book; Outwitting the devil; the devil revealed that the man that doesn’t detoxify is as good as dead.
This is because his life will be miserable.
He’ll be prone to diseases, he’ll not be healthy, he’ll be depressed and fatigued, and he won’t have mental clarity (brain fog).
Bear in mind that this book was written back in 1938 and the world hadn’t gone to shit back then.
Toxins in the body can hugely contribute to brain fog.
These toxins can come into your body through the food you eat, the chemicals and toxic heavy metals you inhale as you go about your life or the drugs you take.
Toxins can also be the by-product of too much adrenalin that becomes secreted when you are constantly stressed.
When these toxins accumulate in your colon, liver, and gut, they start affecting your gut bacteria and thyroid.
When these areas are affected, it tends to cause severe cognitive problems in which brain fog happens to be one of them.
If the colon and the gut area isn’t taken care of, some of these toxins can make their way to the brain and start feeding on/affecting the neurotransmitters that allow your brain to function properly.
So, the best practice is to deliberately detoxify occasionally.
Speaking of toxin-filled bloated colons, another way to instantly boost your mental power and cure brain fog is Intermittent fasting (IF).
IF is when you leave (typically) 17 to 20 hours between your meals.
The idea of using IF to cure brain fog is to give your digestive system a break. When you eat around the clock, your brain is dedicating a lot of resources to the digestive process.
But when you practice IF once in a while, you are giving your brain the leverage to redirect those resources into other cognitive areas. Also, you are allowing your body to detox and burn excess fat at the same time.
From an evolutionary standpoint, caloric deprivation preserves brain function and even tune it up.
This method of boosting brain power is so effective that scholars and geniuses of the past would go days fasting to have mental clarity.
The easiest and most effective way to practice Intermittent Fasting is to skip breakfast.
To get the most out of Intermittent Fasting, it’s recommended that during the time you’re skipping a meal, make sure you drink lots of water and eat water-based/low-calorie fruits and vegetables.
QUALITY Sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours daily
Lack of adequate sleep has been linked with memory problems and brain fog.
But when it comes to adequate sleep, it’s much more complicated than it sounds. Because adequate sleep is not that much about quantity, it has a lot more to do with the quality of the sleep.
When on nofap, a lot of people complain of not getting enough sleep, let alone quality sleep.
How do you know if you had quality sleep though?
According to this study in the sleep health journal, a night of good sleep is;
- falling asleep in 30 minutes and under;
- waking up for under 5 minutes once per night;
- being asleep for 85% or more of the total time spent in bed;
- and being awake in the night for under 20 minutes.
Aside from sleep time, there are also different sleep states/stages that we attain when we sleep.
For those suffering from sleep apnea, it gets much harder to attain the sleep state/stage where the brain starts to detox.
If you want to start getting quality sleep, the first thing to do is to track your sleep using sleep trackers.
After you’ve determined the type of sleep you’re getting every night, you can now start doing things to improve your sleep quality.
Learn how to relax: Enjoy your stress-releasing hobbies
The ability to switch off and relax is priceless.
Nowadays, it’s not a privilege, you have to learn it to earn it.
Because of the way the society is set up, people see others that are more laid-back and more relaxed as lazy or not ambitious.
What these critics don’t know is that those that have prioritized relaxing—and have made it a habit—are buying themselves more brain bandwidth.
Brain fog has a lot to do with the hormone (cortisol) that’s secreted when we are stressed.
During the day, the best way to reduce brain fog is to switch off and relax.
There are different ways you can relax anytime you want to. These can include;
- listening to relaxing music;
- playing a musical instrument;
- watching a movie;
- taking a walk and looking at objects far away, and so on.
But it isn’t enough to do these activities, you need to enjoy doing them. So that you don’t create more stress while doing them.
De-clutter your environment by staying organized; De-clutter your mind by eliminating distractions
Your environment says a lot about the state of your mind. A cluttered environment indicates a cluttered mind.
So, make sure your room, your office is well organized and neat at all times.
By merely having an organized environment, you lift off a considerable amount of fog from your brain.
When it comes to having a cluttered mind, one of the main catalysts for it is smartphones. For all its beauty, for all the cool things you can do with your smartphone, its major side effect is its ability to distract.
Smartphones clutter your mind in the form of news notifications, YouTube notifications, candy crush, social media, email notifications, and all those things that easily split your focus and overwhelm our brain.
When you can’t concentrate, and find your brain to be all over the place, your job is to eliminate this usual suspect.
The simple act of turning off notifications on your smartphone can do the trick.
To take it a step further, when you need to do that work project or you need to write that school project, you can TOTALLY get rid of your smartphone. There are many safe places you can lock it in; like inside your microwave oven.
You might not take it to that extent, but you can safely put your smartphone in another room when you need to focus.
Other catalysts of distraction that clouds the mind include computers and the internet in general. If you must work using the internet (who doesn’t), you can install filters on your computers that helps you get rid of distractions.
There are programs specifically made for this purpose.
A software that helps me focus and achieve my writing goals—by keeping my computer distraction-free is the freedom software. If you need another functionality or another option, you can check out focus.me.
The myth of multitasking
I don’t know how it began, but people have been programmed to believe in the possibility of multitasking.
People have been sold on the idea that they have this superpower to answer work emails, check what’s happening on the company’s social media feeds while receiving news notifications on their phones, and at the same time, be present in a departmental meeting.
If anything, multitasking splits your focus, makes you do mediocre work in all the sections you’re multitasking in, and at the end of the day, you’re left with multiple mediocrities.
I can understand the appeal of multitasking; you get to do more in less time.
But if you REALLY think about it, do you?
Do you get more done in less time when you multitask?
Researchers have found that people love to multitask because multitasking releases dopamine in the brain. And as we’ve covered earlier, the come-down from a dopamine high is a foggy brain.
Along with the dopamine spike that multitasking induces, it also increases the production of the stress hormone (cortisol) and the fight or flight hormone (adrenaline). These hormones overstimulate the brain and the result is a scrambled and foggy brain.
That’s why after you’ve tried to do multiple tasks at once, you get mentally fatigued so fast and you don’t do any of the tasks to completion.
Apart from the messed-up brain chemistry that results from “multitasking”, researchers have shown that it’s practically impossible for the brain to multitask.
When you think you’re “multitasking”, what you’re doing is task-switching. And task-switching comes at a great cognitive cost to your brain.
The solution to this problem is simple;
Focus on a single task at a time.
Focus on a single task, do it to completion, and only then can you start another task.
With this approach, you relieve your brain of diversion of brain resources—which allows you to focus all your brain resources on a single task.
With this approach, you get to finish projects to time, and you get to do them in style.
I’ve always been an advocate of mindfulness meditation on nofap.
One of the many benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice is that it clears up brain fog like no other.
When you practice mindfulness meditation consistently, you start noticing how much more mental clarity you have, how focused you become, and how relaxed your whole mental faculty becomes.
The problem that most people encounter with meditation practice is that they don’t notice any impact of meditation when they first start doing it.
Also, they find it difficult to get to that state of nothingness because their mind is always sabotaging their efforts by drifting non-stop.
To avoid this pitfall, I recommend you start meditating with a guided meditation. You’ll be brought back to your point of focus (be it breath or a mantra) with guided meditation.
Using guided meditation helps to make fast progress with mindfulness meditation and this makes the practice a lot more enjoyable.
Regular brain-training exercises
To reduce brain fog when you’re on nofap you can train your brain to be more focused, feel sharper, and improve memory.
Some apps and softwares do this. And these apps do this in a fun and gamified way so that the process of training your brain is enjoyable.
Using these apps is like taking your brain to the gym every day—the mental form of exercise.
Exercising on nofap is very important.
It’s one of the keystone habits to build when you’re on nofap.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the causes of brain fog. Nofap gives you the energy to be active. So, take full advantage of that energy.
Studies have shown that regularly exercising boosts several cognitive functions of the brain.
It doesn’t matter the type of exercise you choose—HIIT, LIIT, Aerobics, and so on—you get the benefits of having a clearer, sharper, and more focused brain.
Cut out whatever it might be if you can
Some of the causes of brain fog are the things we consume (like drugs, caffeine, alcohol, video games, social media, and so on).
If one of these is the cause of your brain fog, then you should be thinking of cutting back or totally stop consuming them.
In a case where you can’t cut back or cut it out—as the case of someone on prescribed medication that’s causing brain fog—awareness of it causing your brain fog will go a long way in helping you deal with the brain fog.
If you have a medical condition that’s contributing to your brain fog, awareness of the cause goes a long way in curing the brain fog.
Conclusion: Nofap Brain Fog
It doesn’t happen to everybody but when you’re on nofap, as part of the early-stage withdrawal symptoms of NoFap, brain fog might intensify.
But at the end of the day, staying committed to nofap will take off a big chunk of your brain fog.
The 12 things I listed above are healthy behaviors that should be a part of your lifestyle anyway.
So, it shouldn’t be a daunting task to incorporate them into your life.
If you have any questions you’ll like to ask me, thoughts you’d like to add to the post, use the comment section below.
And please, please, and please, share this post. You never know who it might help.
Till we speak again, STAY FAP-FREE, STAY SMART.