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What Is Mind Blanking? Tips to Get Rid of That Foggy Feeling

0 3 years ago

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. It’s that dreaded feeling when your brain goes blank, where you stop in mid-sentence and the words don’t come. Or you don’t remember where you just put your keys.

Mind blanking is a full-on fight-or-flight response that occurs during frantic moments when we think of nothing for a moment or two. This mental state shares similarities with mind wandering. While mind wandering occurs when thoughts unrelated to the current task are brought to the forefront of our attention, no stimuli is brought to mind during a mind blank.

Adrian Ward Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, describes the phenomena as ” . . . conscious awareness [that] is directed neither toward the present perceptual environment nor toward stimuli decoupled from this environment.”

Why Am I Drawing a Blank?

There are both internal and external origins for the reasons our brains blank. Some of the causes include:

  • Change: New results towards a goal may require a way of thinking that is new to the brain. Sometimes our mind sabotages our efforts in order to remain immutable.
  • Anxiety associated with performing before a group: Our fear of public speaking and the feelings of vulnerability that comes with it is a common stress-prompting event that causes us to draw blanks.
  • Medication: If you experience brain fog after recently taking medication, than you should talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to make sure that it is a side effect of the drug.


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