Menopause is the period when a woman’s menstruation ceases and this can be a stressful time physically, mentally and emotionally. The most common symptoms are physical but menopause cause women to have problems with anxiety.
The menopause and anxiety
Anxiety is a common menopausal symptom and it can be an emotion which is very challenging and difficult to deal with. Some women experience anxiety during the perimenopause before the onset of most of the common symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes. Oestrogen plays an important function in the brain and when levels of the hormone are high one feels well and filled with vitality. However when oestrogen levels drop during menopause anxiety and low mood symptoms can develop. Some other symptoms may include night sweats making it difficult to sleep which may lead to fatigue and increased irritability, problems with memory and concentration, low mood and sexual difficulties.
It is also important to note that significant life changes also take place during the menopause such as children leaving home and parents ageing or dying which can lead to loneliness and increased anxiety.
Relaxation and menopause
Mindfulness Meditation and relaxation play a vital role in helping to cope with anxiety during the menopause. Breathing exercises such as inhaling slowly and exhaling at the same time for a few minutes can really help to relax the body creating a sense of feeling grounded and connected. Also using meditation to focus on what is essential can really help to quieten the mind whilst also lowering anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure therapies .
Complementary therapies such as Reflexology, Aromatherapy massage together with yoga and exercise can also help to calm, balance and energise the body.
Exercise and healthy eating
Daily exercise can help in relieving depression and anxiety as activity renews depleted neurotransmitters in the brain. The endorphins which are released during exercise can help in calming the mood and reducing anxiety levels. Exercise also helps to promote sleep which is also important in dealing with anxiety experienced during menopause.
It does not matter what kind of exercise one chooses as they are all beneficial in reducing anxiety during menopause. Some types of exercise may include walking, running, playing tennis, netball, zumba, it really doesn’t matter what you decide to do the important thing is that it needs to be enjoyable. Consistency really is the key to help you cope with menopause and anxiety.
It is important to try and share your feelings with friends and loved ones as you may find that there are other people with whom you are connected going through the same experience.
If you are struggling to cope with your symptoms it is important that you speak to your GP to find out what options are available for dealing with menopausal anxiety.