Have you ever experienced that sensation when your brain feels completely exhausted? Turns out you aren't alone! Researchers call this phenomenon "Brain Fog" or "Mental Fog" which happens when your brain has an influx of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. But why is it happening? Apparently information overload is actually causing this problem to become more prevalent then ever.
It isn't even just your general internet or technology over-load, even the grocery store is in on it!
"In 1976, there were 9,000 products in the average grocery store, and now it's ballooned to 40,000 products. And yet most of us can get almost all our shopping done in just 150 items, so you're having to ignore tens of thousands of times every time you go shopping." Daniel Levitin - psychology professor
Having access to information all the time is not always for the best. It has caused people to believe they no longer need experts. Professor Tom Nichols calls it "death of expertise"
"I fear we are witnessing the "death of expertise": a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all...what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live," Tom Nichols - social and political analyst
We are obviously very privileged that we have access to all this information. But the sheer volume might actually be overwhelming our brains. According to Levitin, the amount of information we have have compiled in the last ten years is more than all of history before it.
"I've read estimates there were 30 exabytes of information 10 years ago and today, there's 300 exabytes of information," says Levitin.
What does this mean for you? Well, even though we all claim to be experts at multitasking, our brains are not built to do more than one thing at a time. Your brain instead just quickly switches it's focus without you noticing.This constant switching actually increases the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, your brain produces and when mixed with your adrenaline traps you in a mental fog!
So if you want to cut down on the amount of brain fog you get, try to lower the number of things you do at one time. Over time it should help you get a little less stressed out and a little quicker with the answers to all your daily questions. Read more about it here, and so you can use it as an excuse the next time you need to get out of something you don't want to do!