We all know stress takes a toll on our bodies. It’s a knot in your shoulder and a pain in your temples. But stress begins in the brain and can ultimately diminish brain health and mental well-being.


Many of us have fallen victim to cognitive stress, usually at the most inopportune moments- during exams, job interviews, or public speaking. Stress steals focus when you need it most. It robs us of our ability to rationalize and concentrate.


Stress’s stranglehold on the human brain is beneficial when faced with a life or death situation. The fight or flight instinct and animalistic survival training overwhelms rational thought and reasoning. Which can help if you’re being chased by a saber tooth tiger.


In modern life this type of stress, Acute Stress, is helpful to amp up your brain for peak performance. It’s swift, effective, and eventually dissipates.


However, most humans suffer from a more dangerous form of stress. It’s the everyday stress that lays just beneath the surface at all times. Chronic Stress lingers in the back of the mind and slowly, silently kills.


In other words, Chronic Stress is a cognitive stress response that makes it impossible to focus on the world around you.


4 BIG Ways Cognitive Stress Disrupts Focus:


1) Makes You Forget 

We’ve all been there- scrambling to find our keys or make it to a forgotten appointment. These memory lapses always seem to happen at our most stressed moments. Forgetfulness is one of the most common ways cognitive stress disrupts our focus.


Stress weakens electrical signals in the brain associated with factual memories. At the same time it strengthens areas in the brain associated with emotions. That’s why stress induced scatterbrain can make you feel so helpless you want to cry.


2) Makes You Anxious

Our bodies are made to use stress as an alert to danger. Stress causes fear, and fear elicits an appropriate response to external threats. This disrupts any ability to rationally focus on the moment at hand, and causes a reaction purely based on the fear.


Stress builds up the Amygdala, your brain’s fear center. So, the more stress you have the larger and more imposing your fears become. When stress is part of your daily life, you are constantly feeding your anxiety, making you more fearful.


3) Makes You To Feel Tired

Have you ever felt physically exhausted, yet at the same time unable to shut your brain off? Stress takes a toll on adrenal glands and can leaving you feeling exhausted and wired but tired. And a tired brain makes everything out-of-focus.


Sleep is so crucial that even slight sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect your focus. Stress causes sleep deprivation, and sleep deprivation makes you more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle.


4) Makes You Indulge in Bad Habits

Stress affects the part of the brain that communicates sensory information as well as the part involved in self-control. So not only do we crave things that are bad for us when we’re stress, but we lack the ability to stop ourselves. We get distracted by the things that “feel good”.


When we are stressed we overemphasize the potential positive outcomes, while under emphasizing the negative. That’s why smoking, drinking, and eating junk food are more appealing when we are stressed.


5 Hacks to fight Cognitive Stress and Regain your Focus

Though cognitive stress will always be a part of our daily lives, there are a few things we can do during the day to help us remain focused:


1) Take a Snack Break

Antioxidants help your brain fight free radicals that cause stress. So when you feel your focus slipping try snacking on some Antioxidant-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, and dark chocolate. Even a refreshing glass of iced green tea will do the trick.


2) Take a Walk

Increase levels of brain-boosting BDNF by getting a little physical exercise. Just a simple stroll can help calm anxiety and realign your focus.


3) Take a Pause

Take break from all the noise, screens, and conversations that fill your day. Remove all distractions, if only for a moment.


Stress does not come from events in your life as much as it comes from your thoughts. It’s caused by your automatic negative reactions and cognitive distortions. So readjust your thoughts by clearing your mind.


4) Take a Nap

Stress and Sleep go hand-in-hand. You’re no good to anyone if your brain sleep-deprived. If your focus is waning because of lack of sleep, just take a nap. A 20-minute catnap can keep your mood, energy, creativity, and productivity high all day long and works even better than caffeine.


There’s also a supplement that delivers ingredients to help you relax, de-stress, and get a good night's sleep. Find out more info below...


5) Take a Supplement

Chronic stress leads to the continual release of the stress hormone cortisol. A chronically elevated level of cortisol is very harmful to your mental, cognitive, emotional and physical health and well-being.


All the hacks above have been proven to reduce the release of cortisol. Adding a cortisol supplement to your daily routine will help minimise the effects of stress hormones and give you added adrenal support.



Adaptan-All by Ortho Molecular is one of our preferred products for stress and energy levels. Adapten-All includes a blend of key micronutrients and adaptogenic botanicals specifically formulated to strengthen the body’s stress response and support healthy energy levels. It also provides a unique blend of "stress adapting botanicals" which help increase the body’s resistance to fatigue and maintain balanced cortisol and DHEA levels.


Cortisol Manager

Cortisol Manager by Integrative Therapeutics - Cortisol Manager is formulated with stress-reducing ingredients and botanicals to promote relaxation, help alleviate fatigue, and support healthy cortisol levels.* By balancing cortisol levels, Cortisol Manager can help reduce stress, which supports a restful night’s sleep without diminishing daytime alertness


Methylation Complete

This is a favorite product at Martin’s Wellness Pharmacies and helps with focus while also boosting your energy level. Local physician, Dr. Kendal Stewart created this line of supplements and we are a huge fan! Methylation Complete gets your methylated b vitamins in. especially if you have a methyl issue, and helps you are producing more neurotransmitters.Methylation is responsible for over 250 biochemical processes in the body, therefore ,this formula may assist in maximizing focus, concentration, memory, sleep patterns, mood and immune function.