Dr Sabina Brennan’s practical tips on beating brain fog

From time to time, Dr Sabina Brennan pops on the radio discussing topics like brain health, ageing and dementia. She has the knack of making science accessible and explaining how it can help people navigate practical problems in their daily lives. So, when I saw her new book in to the village bookshop, I had to pop in for a browse. It took me less than a minute to decide to buy it.

Beating Brain Fog promises a ’30-day plan to think faster, sharper and better’. It’s a very easy read—well-organised and packed with checklists and practical advice to help you understand and improve how your brain works.

Dr Brennan explains how learning to manage sleep, stress, exercise and nutrition helps achieve better brain health. She provides tools to identify issues that the reader may need to work on, whether that’s improving memory and decision-making or controlling anxiety and managing stress. She suggests lots of practical actions that can easily be incorporated into daily activity and even includes a couple of nutritious recipes to support brain-health.

This is a fascinating read. Even if you don’t have brain fog, it’s thought-provoking. I recommend it.

Beating Brain Fog : Your 30-day plan to think, faster, sharper, better is published by Orion Spring.

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz

Recently, a friend mentioned she was reading The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz.  Whether through grief, marital breakdown, family, health, financial or career crises,  everyone experiences difficulties in life. And, at times, it is difficult to know what to do for the best. We can’t always discuss problems with family or friends.

Striking a chord

Grosz is a psychoanalyst so his thoughts and insights are interesting. The Examined Life is a series of  short stories based on cases he encountered during his years in practice. The individual stories are quite different but aspects of them will strike a chord for many people — either with their personal experience or experiences of friends or family.

At times, I found his observations surprising. And at times, the problems don’t seem significant enough to warrant so much therapy time. I was  frustrated that the problems didn’t always have clear solutions or resolutions. However, despite these reservations, I liked this book.  The individual stories are short but I took my time reading them because I wanted to think about each problem and solution before moving on to the next. If you’re interested in what makes people tick, I think The Examined Life is worth a read. I bought the Kindle edition.

Overcoming anxiety | a readable guide by Gill Hasson

Overcoming anxiety is a challenge for many people. Just this week, I heard a guest on a radio show describe how he had repeatedly checked that his phone was turned off on the way to the studio because of his anxiety that it might ring while he was on air.

Whether it’s at home, work or in social situations, most people experience similar anxieties. Did we plug out the hair straighteners? Lock the front door? Will we know what to say if we’re asked a question in an interview? Will we forget our lines on stage? Will our knees knock when we make that speech? Whatever the situation,  we generally survive the moment and forget it once the stressful moment has passed.

But for some people, at least some of the time, anxiety can be overwhelming. They become paralysed by worry and their fear manifests in unpleasant physical symptoms and can even change their behaviour. Their anxiety may adversely affect family or work relationships or prevent them from engaging in social activities. It can even make some people avoid situations entirely out of fear that they will not be able to manage.

Personal development author Gill Hasson’s latest book, Overcoming Anxiety : Reassuring ways to break free from stress and worry and lead a calmer life, aims to help readers understand why they get anxious and learn techniques to better manage their thoughts and behaviours.

Hasson encourages her readers to focus on what they can change, rather than what is outside of their control. She shows how to reframe negative thoughts and  move forward in a more positive way. She also discusses the importance of reaching out for support and connecting with others.

At just under 200 words, Overcoming Anxiety is fast read with practical tips, techniques and examples that are easy to relate to. Worth a look if you’re anxious or a worrier. If nothing else it may reassure you that you’re fears are normal!

Overcoming Anxiety by Gill Hasson is published by Capstone. [Disclosure: An ARC was provided by the publisher].