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Menopause Brain Fog and Bible Study – How to Break Through That Fog!

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Ladies, it is part of aging, that menopause brain fog! I never knew what this was until I went through it myself. But it is VERY real and it does affect how you study, whether it is the Bible or anything else!

We go through so many things when we begin to go through menopause! I was warned about the hot flashes and mood swings! I was even warned about the physical changes (weight gain, periods that would go and then show back up after 3 months!) but menopause brain fog? 

Well, my mother never warned me about THAT one! But it is a very real thing and it took me from being a wiz at studying to not even being able to digest a sentence.

Let me share my story with you and give you some tips to help you study the Bible with this new-found challenge…which can apply no matter the reason for your fog!!

An image of a beautiful, middle aged woman with long blondish-gray hair and text that says Menopause Brain Fog and Bible Study - How to Break Through That Fog!

Anxiety and Brain Fog?

I never used to have a problem with brain fog or anxiety when I was younger. Well, at least I didn’t recognize an issue with anxiety until the last 1o years or so.

When I was younger (and when I say “younger” I mean through to my mid-40’s) I never had an issue with concentration or focus.

I was an analyst for a major pharmaceutical company so my whole day was focus! I also studied the Bible on a regular basis, for hours at a time sometimes. I could sometimes sit at my dining room table for hours just engrossed in a study!Menopause Brain Fog and Bible Study - How to Break Through That Fog! 1 But that changed when I entered my mid to late 40’s.

For one thing, anxiety entered in as part of my story.

I had gone through difficulties in a prior marriage which created this level of anxiety in me that I didn’t know was growing and deepening.

It was subtle in its approach and didn’t appear drastically until I went through a divorce. Then it showed itself in the form of an anxiety attack at a gas pump one day that caused me to have to run to urgent care. 

Menopause and Brain Fog – The Connection I Hadn’t Made!

At first I thought it WAS the anxiety that was causing my lack of focus! I even thought for a while that I had ADD! But no..it was menopause!

Coupled with anxiety and this inability to shut my brain off anyway, on top this new lack of focus that came with menopause, studying the Bible became SO difficult! I mean REALLY difficult!

I would sit and try to read and I would get two paragraphs in and my mind was somewhere else completely!

Where was the person who could sit and study for hours? Where was the person who could remember something she thought of just two minutes before??

So what can you do when you try to sit down and study the Bible and you can’t get through a chapter without your mind going off somewhere else?

Here is a video I made that goes over 7 steps that can help you study the Bible when you can’t focus! The steps are outlined below as well so you can follow along (along with an 8th step I added here that is NOT in the video!)  

 

7 Steps to Help With Menopause Brain Fog and Inability To Focus

There are some steps that I have learned that have helped me and I will share them with you!

7 Steps to Help With Menopause and Inability To Focus

1. Acceptance

Accept this is who you are and we ALL go through it! We all age! So accept that you are no longer 20 or 30 and this is who God created you to be in this stage of life – oh and 20 and 30-year-olds..you will be here eventually!

2. Change

Accept that you will have to change how you study! And that is ok! You may be in the opposite phase where you now find you can study MORE than you could before because kids are grown and so on. You may be retired now and have more time!  Great!!

3. Eliminate Distractions

Part of reducing the squirrel moments is eliminating them! Turn off the TV or music. Close the blinds if you have to! Shut off the phone! Eat beforehand so you don’t focus on your rumbly in the tummy!

Don’t rely on your willpower to keep going…face it, it's not there! Turn everything off!

4. Break It Up

Break it up in small pieces – don’t try to study too much at once. I find that as I am reading I am looking to where the chapter ends. It's not because I want to be done with it, it is just how my brain works.  It looks for the goal.

So make it one chapter at a time. My brain craves novelty so it looks toward the end of the chapter because it is looking for the next step. So give it to it! Otherwise, your brain will check out.

5. Cut Yourself Some Slack

The more you fight this the worse you are going to feel about it. Accept it, find strategies that work for you and accept that it may not always work for you!! Give yourself some grace! If you find your brain is just not engaged, give it a break and try again later.

There could be reasons for it…lack of sleep, something on your mind, etc. So use step 6!

6. Pray!

The devil loves to use our brain fog to work against us. So pray before you study. Pray God will give you clarity of mind and also focus. If there are things in step 5 that are keeping you from focusing, pray about that too!

Giving that time to God in prayer and asking him to bless your time with Him will help.

7. Use Study Methods

Implement Bible study methods that work for you! I will link to the study methods I use that I found worked best for me with having difficulty focusing.

It is Arabah Joy's Bible Study Methods - 7 Ways in 7 Days

Bonus Step!

Read out loud! When you read the Bible you are using 2 of your 5 senses! You are using your sense of sight as you read and you are using your sense of touch as you hold the Bible or turn the pages, etc.

That leaves your other senses free to engage in distraction! When you read out loud, you engage 3.5 senses (I will explain the .5!!).

You are using sight and touch, as previously mentioned, but now you are also using your sense of hearing as your ears hear the words you read out loud!

The .5? Well, you are using your mouth, although it is not the sense of taste per se!  Or is it?

The Bible DOES say in Psalm 34:8:

“O taste and see that the Lord is good;” NASB

It also describes the Word as sweet in Psalm 119:103:

How sweet is Your word to my taste—yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” TLV

Whether you have menopause brain fog, a short attention span or, like me, suffered a medical trauma that just makes the situation worse…you CAN use these tools to help you study the Word!

An infographic in lime green listing the 7 steps to deal with menopause brain fog that can be found in the video on the post on Menopause Brain Fog

Have you found any awesome ways to battle that menopause brain fog? Share in the comments with us!

Faith bloggers! Don’t forget to link up below!

NASB – “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation

Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

 

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40 Comments

  1. If I’m going to have more brain fog when I go through menopause I’m going to be in trouble. I already can’t think of what I’m trying to say or get the words out. It’s a mixture of Fibromyalgia, my medications I take, anxiety and who knows what else.

    PS – is the linky supposed to not open for another 6 hours?

    1. Thank you Kathleen..you’re the second person to mention Fibro so that is good to know!!
      And thank you for mentioning the link up…no it was supposed to start at 7am. The link somehow had it for 5pm but I have fixed it now. Sorry about that!

  2. This also goes for fibromyalgia sufferers!! Seeing as I am one, I haven’t hit the menopause fog but fibro fog can be quite terrible!! I did have to alter, and reading out loud is a must on my days of elevated pain and fatigue. This is such great and practical wisdom, thank you for this!!

  3. I find that eliminating the distractions is the biggest thing for me when I want to concentrate. When I was younger, with 3 little boys at home, I could concentrate even though my surroundings were chaotic and noisy. Now, I need silence and no distractions. It’s harder to tune out things that are going on all around me.

    1. Yes I was the same way. In fact in high school I couldn’t study unless I had the radio playing or something on in the background. Now it is just too distracting!

  4. You know, I forget that this is a REAL thing and am pretty hard on myself about my lack of focus. I used to be able to teach without notes, hold things in my brain for more than 3 seconds, and actually finished most of my sentences. Those things are just a distant memory now, and it’s good for me to be reminded that this is just a seasonal thing — and maybe a signal to me that I should be more reasonable in my expectations!

    1. I think it is common that we forget that this happens. I actually almost went to the doctor thinking I had ADD because it just hit me so hard and out of left field! I wish it was talked about more often!

  5. I experienced this just didn’t have a name for it at the time. I just turned to studying a little at a time and keeping a journal of thoughts and questions to go back over the next day.

    1. You know I almost didn’t do this post because I thought I was basically going to be telling people what they already knew but I realized, many many women don’t know that is what it is. They think it is just them! I am glad I posted it!

  6. Thanks for sharing! I’m in menopause early due to a hysterectomy and do find that focus is harder for me in everything, but have never been more inspired to study God’s word! I just wrote a post about why God’s word is so important.

  7. Thanks for this! I can’t say I’ve had menopause-related brain fog myself! 🙂 But I know what it’s like to feel burnt out on studying that you feel your brain can’t function anymore. I was like that some years ago. There are lots of different learning methods however that can help anyone with difficulty learning. In particular, there are the whole 9 intelligences (which I’ve written about before) which engage different parts of your brain. In academic study (and in schools and higher education), the emphasis is on a particular type of study method which tends to be either very mathematical or verbal/literary intelligence. If people don’t find that they conform to that type of learning style, then it makes it more difficult for them to learn things in the traditionally accepted way. However, accessing these other intelligences helps us be more creative and accelerate our learning.

    BTW great to see you are doing videos now. I thought you had shorter hair all this time though.

    1. I am laughing at your first sentence lol Thank you for sharing that info Robert!!! Very helpful!!
      And the hair grew out lol. About to go have it cut again I think!

  8. Diane, I really enjoyed your post. I suffer from Fibromyalgia and am constantly battling brain fog and cognitive difficulties, so this post really resonated with me. I am definitely going to implement some of your suggestions. One suggestion I have been doing already is reading out loud. It is like I absorb it better if I am reading it as well as hearing it. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much Angela! Yes reading out loud is a big one for me. It’s especially helpful for someone like me who can’t concentrate when it’s quiet but yet gets distracted too! I’m glad it works for you! Let me know if anything you implement works for you as well!!

  9. Hi Diane and congratulations on your new linkup! I added you to my linkup stops. YAY! Also, I wanted to let you know that you will be featured this Thursday at #TuneInThursday as the top clicked post – it was by a land side by the way. Great post and full of practical tips. Also, I am giving a shout out to you and your linkup – let’s see if we can help grown it some more. 🙂 Blessings

  10. This makes so much sense. I have brain fog due to Fibromyalgia. But I just turned 45 and haven’t had 1 period in months and months.. Thank you for sharing, and thank God that He sent me here. I honestly don’t know how I ended up here, but God’s timing is perfect. I tweeted.

  11. I don’t think I have ever seen this topic addressed, so thank you! Thank you also for writing it out instead of just posting a video. I just don’t retain things from a video as well as I do by reading.

    1. Thank you Barbara…that is why I wanted to do both plus have the infographic! When doing a post on brain fog you have to have several different ways to share it with people for the reason you stated!!

  12. After I was exposed to mold I had terrible brain fog and no mental stamina. Thankfully it is better. But I still get distracted easily. I learned to enjoy audible Bible apps and break up my study time. This is such a good post to remind us change is part of life. Instead of fighting it, adapt.

    1. Oh I am so sorry you went through that! Mold can do so much harm!! Yes, the enemy can use our health to get us away from the Word so adaptation and finding new ways to study that work for us is key in defeating his tactics!

  13. This makes me feel better. 🙂 I thought I would be one of the lucky ones who didn’t have any side-effects of menopause, but wrong! ha. I have struggled more with anxiety and I am more easily distracted. Give me peace and quiet so I can focus, please. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this post again!

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