Dr. Sheila Forman
health, fitness, and beauty
Dr. Sheila Forman, a former practicing attorney, has PhD in psychology, and is a one of the first qualified Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training (MB EAT) Instructors in the world. Often characterized as having the mind of a lawyer and the heart of a therapist, Dr. Sheila has devoted over twenty years to helping people address weight and food issues by focusing on the emotional aspects of overeating.
When a person is depressed, they often experience a decline in their cognitive functioning. This means they have trouble with their concentration, memory and attention. Depressed patients report that the “cannot think straight” or they “don’t feel like” themselves. This is commonly referred to as “brain fog.” The worse the depression, the worse the brain fog can seem. But there is hope.
It is not only depression that can led to brain fog, anxiety can too. In both depression and anxiety, it is the disruption of neural and hormonal functioning that causes this condition. There are other causes for brain fog including medication side-effects, vitamin deficiencies and auto-immune issues. Be sure to rule out any underlying medical conditions that can be causing the brain fog or contributing to it.
The good news is that there are many things a person with brain fog can do to improve their condition. One is to get moving. Science tells us that moving one’s body can bring wonderful physical benefits, including improved mood and memory. It doesn’t take a lot of exercise to get positive gains. A 10 to 20 minute walk every day can help a lot. Exercise changes a body’s chemistry by increasing certain neurotransmitters and hormones that affect mood. This is a good thing.
Another option for people with brain fog to help it go away is to get good sleep. Because brain fog is a symptom of depression and anxiety, it is very likely the affected person is also dealing with stress. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential in the battle against stress. To get good sleep, try these tips: (1) go to bed and wake up the same time every day, doing so sets up a healthy sleep pattern; (2) sleep in total darkness (use eye shades if needed). The reason for this is that light (from any source) can interfere with the body’s production of melatonin which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep; and (3) don’t use your bed for anything other than sex and sleep. When you eat, watch TV, answer texts or work in bed, your mind creates an association between your bed and active activities which can make it much harder to relax so you can fall asleep.
Finally, practicing mindfulness and creating a daily mindfulness-based meditation practice can also eliminate brain fog. It may seem counterintuitive to meditate away brain fog when a person feels as if they can’t focus or pay attention, but it’s true. Developing a mindfulness-based meditation practice actually teaches the person (and their mind) to focus. It also teaches people to be present with their symptoms without judging them, which can, in and of itself, lead to a reduction of those very symptoms. To meditate mindfully do the following: (1) find a comfortable place to sit or lie; (2) close your eyes; (3) focus on the movement of your breath – in and out – in and out; (4) when your mind wanders away from your breath (and it will!) simply return your attention back to your breath. Meditation is not about shutting the mind off from thoughts – that’s impossible. Instead, it is about noticing the thoughts but not getting caught up in them by shifting attention back to the breath. Start with 1 minute a day and work up to a 10 minute a day practice. The brain-fogged mind will be grateful.
Psychologist and Mindful Eating Instructor, Dr. Sheila Forman, is the founder of TAME Your Appetite: The Art of Mindful Eating. She is an expert in helping people cope with their emotions without eating and using a non-diet approach to lose weight and make peace with food. She is also the author of several self-help books, including Do You Use Food to Cope? A Comprehensive 15-Week Program for Overcoming Emotional Overeating, and The Best Diet Begins in Your Mind - Eliminating the Eight Obstacles to Permanent Weight Loss.
For more information on Dr. Sheila Forman or to book her for an appearance, please go to www.TAMEYourAppetite.com or call 310-828-8004.
2708 Wilshire Blvd., #423
Santa Monica, CA 90403
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