We’ve all experienced those moments when the brain seems to have given up on us. You’re trying to get something done, you can’t focus and your brain is simply not cooperating. You just. Can’t. Think.
So how do you get over these mental lapses that inhibit you from focusing your attention or performing a task that is usually very easy for you?
To begin with, one thing that you definitely should not do is try harder to complete the task. If you’re tired or you’ve been working on the task for a while, chances are that trying harder will not increase your productivity. It’s just like when you can’t remember the name of that actor from that movie, only to remember it as soon as you stop trying.
So if you shouldn’t try harder, what should you do instead to get over brain cramps?
Multitasking might seem to make you more productive, but it actually takes a toll on your mind and performance. It causes us to be scattered and to spread ourselves thin, almost never enjoying the things that we are doing.
Singletasking, on the other hand, will help you become better at what you’re doing, as you will be giving your full attention to each task. As you begin to work one task at a time, you will notice how you begin doing your work with focus and dedication. Not only will you become more effective at work, but you will also draw benefits in your personal life.
Take a nap
Lack of proper rest can have a negative impact on mood, stress levels, ability to process thoughts and nervous system functions. In fact, researchers at Brown University found that fatigued medical residents, when placed in a driving simulator, did at least as badly as they did under the influence of alcohol.
This suggests that sleep deprivation is equivalent or worse than mild alcohol intoxication. Could you imagine coming to work drunk?
Napping can in fact help your memory and increase creativity, not to mention that it offers a natural mood boost - all things that will help you get over brain cramps.
Find sources of stress and remove them
You cannot achieve peak performance when stress is affecting your moods and ability to process information. Stress often causes a lack of focus, impedes productivity, and affects your memory.
Sometimes it might seem impossible to get rid of your stress sources. Other times, it’s exactly the projects that you’re working on that are the source of stress in your life. There are many things you can do - not to remove the source of your stress, but to begin to handle stress more efficiently.
For starters, taking a brisk walk, doing some breathing exercises, and even taking a shower can attenuate whatever is producing the stress in your life.
What you eat affects how you think, because what we eat becomes part of our cellular make-up. You are what you eat, quite literally.
Just picture this: even one bag of French fries can contribute to mental fatigue, brain fog, and even depressive symptoms, if the body cannot adequately process fats. And low blood sugar is one of the most common causes of afternoon fatigue.
Good nutrition, on the other hand, will improve your clarity of mind, and ultimately, your quality of life.
Keep in mind that brain cramps are usually a symptom of something else. We don’t just get them because we can’t think straight. There's usually another reason why we can't think straight. Whether your mental lapses are caused by fatigue, nutrition, stress, the first step in getting rid of them is to find out why you’re getting them in the first place.
We want to hear how you get over brain cramps! Share your tips with us and other readers in the comment section below.