Have you recently felt that your focus tends to wane during work or conversations with others? The decline in concentration might be related to symptoms of menopause.
Table of Contents
・Causes of Concentration Decline Due to Menopausal Symptoms
・Ways to Enhance Concentration
・If Concentration Issues Affect Work or Daily Life, Consult a Healthcare Professional
Causes of Concentration Decline Due to Menopausal Symptoms
The period around menopause, defined as the five years before and after menopause, generally occurs in the late 40s to early 50s, although individual variations exist. Menopause involves fluctuations in the female hormone estrogen, impacting the autonomic nervous system and potentially leading to decreased concentration.
Hormones like estrogen are released from the ovaries in response to signals from the hypothalamus in the brain. During menopause, as ovarian function diminishes, estrogen levels decrease. The hypothalamus then intensifies stimulation to the ovaries to produce more estrogen. In response, the ovaries release a substantial amount of estrogen, leading the brain to mistakenly believe it has sufficient estrogen. Consequently, the brain rapidly reduces estrogen secretion. This drastic fluctuation in estrogen levels contributes to the onset of menopausal symptoms.
The hypothalamus, responsible for concentration and decision-making, is a central hub for the autonomic nervous system. Disruptions in signals from the hypothalamus affect the autonomic nervous system, resulting in symptoms of menopause such as reduced concentration and decision-making abilities.
Ways to Enhance Concentration
Maintaining hormone balance is essential for overall health. Here are some methods to help stabilize hormone balance:
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Consuming a nutrient-rich diet with proteins, healthy fats, and fiber helps regulate hormone balance. Include foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat proteins, avocados, nuts, and seeds in your meals.
Get Quality Sleep
Taking a warm bath about 1-2 hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep when your body temperature drops. Additionally, aim to have dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime. Digesting food in the stomach can interfere with proper sleep, as the digestive system remains active.
Avoid activities that stimulate the brain, such as watching TV, using a computer, or looking at smartphone screens, right before bedtime.
Regular exercise helps balance hormones, uplift mood, and alleviate stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise almost every day.
Create a Focused Environment
Organizing your surroundings is essential for improving concentration. Here are three points to consider:
Inhaling the scent of lemon can suppress the activity of the relaxing parasympathetic nervous system, favoring the dominant activity of the essential sympathetic nervous system, crucial for concentration.
The human brain isn't designed to think about multiple things simultaneously. Even though multitasking may appear possible, the brain is swiftly switching tasks. Engaging in multiple tasks increases the workload on the brain, causing fatigue and making concentration difficult.
・Allocate Break Times
Taking breaks at regular intervals, no matter how focused you are, is crucial for sustained concentration. When you achieve a specific goal or after a certain amount of time has passed, take a 5-10 minute break to refresh your mood.
If Concentration Issues Affect Work or Daily Life, Consult a Healthcare Professional
If trying the methods mentioned in the article doesn't improve concentration and it persists chronically, or if it hampers daily life, consider seeking medical attention.
It is advisable to start by consulting your regular healthcare provider. If menopausal symptoms are suspected, visiting a gynecologist is recommended. Treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications may be options to explore.