The Mind Can Only Be Confused | Sadhguru
How to Prevent Confusion
Confusion is the lack of ability to think with the clarity or quickness with which you can normally think.Confusion may have a sudden onset or it may come gradually over a period of time, and usually results in feeling lost or disoriented, unable to concentrate, unable to remember, and incapable of making decisions.There are numerous medical reasons why a person may experience confusion, some of which are permanent (such as dementia), though often times it's simply a temporary problem that goes away after a brief period or a lapse in memory associated with aging.Learning how to prevent confusion can help you stay focused and sharp, and may help you avoid a costly trip to the hospital.
Keeping Your Mind Sharp
Use your cognitive abilities.If you don't use your cognitive abilities and practice them routinely, you will eventually lose those abilities.If you can, try to learn something new, like a language, a musical instrument, or even a new skill set. If you can't pick up something new, you can alter your daily routine in simpler ways to strengthen your cognitive abilities, like doing a word puzzle, reading parts of the newspaper you normally don't read, or taking an alternate route you wouldn't normally take while driving.
- Other ways to use your cognitive abilities include reading, joining a book club (which incorporates social interaction), playing strategy games like chess, or taking classes to learn something new.
Be socially active.When people are alone for long periods of time, they become prone to depression, stress, and anxiety, and these symptoms can contribute to confusion and memory loss over time.A great way to ward off confusion is to spend time with other people. Being around others encourages you to recall past events and process current events in order to carry on a conversation, which is a great way to stay mentally sharp while also enjoying other people's company.
- Having great social support is especially important when dealing with confusion in elderly people.
- Try spending time with friends, relatives, or even strangers through volunteer work.Do not isolate yourself. Stay engaged with life and your social surroundings.
Organize your life.Organizing your environment will help you avoid confusion about your immediate surroundings while also strengthening your memory and thinking skills.If you're not hyper-organized, that's okay — you can start in little ways and see where your organization efforts lead you. Studies show that taking the guesswork out of day-to-day chores and events can help you focus and concentrate more on learning new things and remembering important events/memories.
- Try writing down appointments, errands, chores, and things you'll need to pick up when you're at the store. Make a habit of carrying that list with you everywhere you go and checking it on a daily basis.Try keeping these lists on your smartphone.
- Choose a designated place for essentials that you'll need every day, like your wallet, keys, and mobile phone (if you carry one). That way you'll never waste time looking for the things you need before you leave the house.
- Take opportunities to tidy up your home, especially by reducing clutter. Go through old papers, notes, and to-do lists and throw them away if you no longer need them.
- Journaling may be a good way to keep your thoughts organized and keep track of your day-to-day life and obligations.
Use all of your senses.Using more than one sense when you learn or experience something new helps keep multiple parts of your brain active and may help retain memories and learning abilities.Studies have shown that experiencing something with only one sense makes you less likely to remember or retain that information/experience than experiencing it with two or more senses.
- Try challenging your senses in little ways every day. When you try an unfamiliar dish at a restaurant, notice the smell before and after you taste the food. Challenge yourself to identify certain ingredients, or practice your cognitive abilities by reading a newspaper or book while you savor the smells and tastes of an unfamiliar dish.
Have a routine.Having a routine can help with memory and cognitive ability. Any time you maintain a routine, your brain has an easier time making connections and recognizing patterns of your own behavior. It sounds simple, but just having a regular day-to-day routine may help reduce the effects of confusion and memory loss over time.
- For instance, make sure you get up and go to bed at the same time each day, which can help improve your sleep and overall health.
Use mnemonic devices.Mnemonic devices are used to help you remember lists, orders of operation, and musical scales, but you can also make your own mnemonic devices to help you remember anything from your daily life. Try writing out the steps of something you need to do, then take the first letter of each word and try to put it in a related word or phrase. For example, the musical notes E, G, B, D, and F is easily remembered with the sentence, "Every Good Boy Does Fine."
- Creating and using mnemonic devices helps you strengthen both your thinking abilities and your memory. Finding ways to remember the steps of a certain process may also help free up your memory to process and retain new information.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Stay hydrated.Dehydration is a common cause of confusion, and is easily preventable. Dehydration occurs any time your body loses more water than you ingest.Unfortunately, confusion caused by dehydration is usually a sign of severe dehydration, and may require medical assistance.
- Drinking water or sports drinks can help treat mild to moderate dehydration. For more severe cases, intravenous saline administration (performed by a medical professional) may be required.
Eat a healthy diet.Dietary improvements can often help or prevent confusion. It's important to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean, low-fat protein sources like fish, skinless poultry, and tofu.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a common contributor to confusion and/or memory loss.This can commonly occur after people stop drinking after they have been drinking every day.
- Make sure you get sufficient vitamin B12 and folate in your diet, as these are believed to help protect the nervous system.
- Some studies suggest ginkgo biloba, an herbal supplement, may help improve memory and strengthen cognitive abilities.Talk to your doctor about any supplements you're interested in before you begin taking them.
Get enough sleep.Sleep is an important part of cognitive ability, as sleep helps strengthen and solidify memories in our brains. Being sleep deprived may also lead to feelings of confusion and uncertainty.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Create a pre-bedtime routine (such as taking a shower, listening to soothing music, etc.) and stick to a sleep schedule.
- Most adults and older individuals need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Make sure you are well rested to help prevent confusion and disorientation.
Stay active.Physical exercise helps increase blood flow to the brain, which may help keep your cognitive abilities at their best.If you are physically capable, try to meet the Department of Health and Human Services minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week.You also need to include two to three days of strength training each week for a total of at least 40 minutes.
- Moderate aerobic exercise might involve walking briskly, while vigorous exercise might involve running or bicycling.
Lower your blood pressure.High blood pressure, when left untreated, can cause significant problems with your memory and problem-solving ability.If you've been prescribed medication for your blood pressure, take that medicine as your doctor instructed you. If you are not currently on medication, talk to your doctor about medicinal options and ways to lower your blood pressure, such as weight loss or dietary changes.
Caring for a Confused Person
Introduce yourself.Even if you have known the confused person for many years (whether through friendship, family, or simply acquaintance), you should always identify or introduce yourself to a confused person. Many people suffering from confusion become frightened, which may lead to erratic or even violent behavior if someone perceived as a stranger suddenly approaches without warning.
- Say your name, and remind the person how you know each other. Speak slowly and approach the person with caution.
Offer the individual different reminders.Sometimes having even small reminders can help a confused person recall who they are and where they are. Other times people become confused about what time, day, or year it is.If someone you know is confused, try to help by:
- Reminding the individual where they are at the moment
- Putting a calendar and clock near the individual so that they can check the date and time as often as they need to
- Talking about current events, recent events, and any plans for the day
Create a relaxing environment.Some people who experience confusion also experience subsequent fear or anxiety. One way to help combat this is to keep the individual's immediate environment quiet, calm, and relaxing.
- If possible, remove things that might be traumatic or upsetting from the individual's immediate area. You don't necessarily need to get rid of these things, but "hiding" them until the confused person feels better may help speed up their recovery time.
- Be aware of "sundowning." At the end of the day people with dementia can become more confused and depressed. Talk with the person's doctor if you think they are suffering from sundowning. They may have suggestions for medication or therapy that can help.
- Try keeping windows open during the day. This may keep the patient more alert, awake, and less confused.
Offer a low blood sugar snack.Some people experience confusion caused by low blood sugar (diabetes medications are a common cause of this). In these instances, you may want to consider offering the individual a small, sweet snack or beverage.Evening out their blood sugar might even out their mood and allow them to think better without getting angry.
- Juice is an excellent thing to give someone who is confused because of low blood sugar. Small snacks, including a cookie or some pretzels, can also help.
- Glucose tablets may be a requirement for people experiencing low blood sugar. If at all possible, know the individual's preferred treatment plan in advance in order to best help him recover from his bout of confusion.
Seek medical help.If confusion occurs without any previous history of this symptom, or if the symptom begins to affect day-to-day life, call a doctor immediately.Your doctor will do a physical exam and may order blood/urine tests, neuropsychological tests, an electroencephalogram (EEG), and/or a CT scan of the head.In some cases, the individual may need to go to the emergency room. Call an emergency responder if you or someone you know experiences confusion and any of the following:
- Cold or clammy skin
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Rapid pulse
- Irregular breathing (slow or rapid)
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Diabetic complications
- A head injury
- Loss of consciousness
Understand the causes of confusion.There are many medical complications that can cause confusion. How you treat confusion may depend on the underlying cause(s). Common health complications that may lead to confusion include:
- Intoxication (drugs or alcohol — temporary complication)
- Brain tumor (may be treatable if the tumor can be treated/removed)
- Head trauma or injury, including concussion (usually temporary, but requires a medical evaluation and immediate treatment)
- Fever (temporary)
- Fluid/electrolyte imbalance (often from dehydration — temporary complication, as long as fluids are administered as soon as possible)
- Illness, including dementia (permanent complication requiring extensive medical assistance)
- Lack of sleep (temporary, as long as sleep habits are corrected)
- Low blood sugar (temporary, as long as snacks or juice are given)
- Low oxygen levels, including those caused by chronic lung disorders (may be temporary or permanent — requires immediate medical assistance)
- Medication side effects (may be temporary, or may require a change in medication, dosage, or time of administration)
- Nutritional deficiencies, commonly experienced when lacking niacin, thiamine, or vitamin B12
- Seizures (may be temporary or may be permanent, depending on medical condition or circumstances causing seizures)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Advanced age
- Sensory impairment
- Sudden changes in body temperature, such as heat stroke or hypothermia (temporary if remedied quickly — if medical assistance is not administered as quickly as possible, sudden changes in body temperature may be fatal)
Can infection cause forgetfulness and confusion. And what could be the solution if yes? Thank you!
For about 3 months I have been getting confused sometimes when I am doing something I start to feel lost . What things can I do to prevent that from happening? I also feel like it's not true .
- If you or someone you know experiences confusion, begin by giving the individual water to treat possible dehydration. Then take the individual to see a doctor immediately.
- There is a common condition called multi-infarct dementia. This occurs in a lot of older adults that have “mini” strokes or transient ischemic attacks. These strokes build up over time and there is a stepwise decline in their function as a result. There is no cure for multi infarct dementia, and it is diagnosed by serial CT scans of the head.
- People experiencing confusion, especially confusion caused by dementia, may behave erratically or even violently. If someone uses threatening words or body language, give them space and call a medical professional to assess the situation.
Video: How to deal with Confusion By Sandeep Maheshwari in Hindi
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