Anxiety is part of life — we all feel it from time to time. When you do, there are a few things you can try to help calm your emotions.
Menopause itself can be a stressful time and anything you can do to reduce your anxiety will also help to balance your hormones.
How Much Is Too Much?
If you are feeling overwhelmed these simple tips can help reduce and de-stress you.
Gardening makes your brain release mood-boosting chemicals that can help calm your anxiety. Plus, you’ll get some exercise and spend time outdoors, both of which can be good for you, too.
If you don’t have your own garden call a local community garden -they’ll be happy for the help – look for an allotment or see if a neighbour might like some help.
If none of those are possible then indoor container gardens, windowboxes or even a small herb garden on your kitchen windowsill will all work too.
It may be the last thing on your mind when you’re anxious, but sex can lower your body’s stress response. And a healthy sex life can help make you happier and healthier, and that can help keep anxiety away, too.
Meditation helps you focus on your breath and keep your mind free of thoughts, and when you are anxious they can seem to just keep running round and round in your head.
Meditation helps you stay in a calmer place and deal more easily with those thoughts. There are very many different types of meditation so there is a lot of choice out there. Find one that works for you, either a local class or something you can do at home with a CD
People do not always realise it, but this is a form of meditation as while you go into various poses you are :strengthening and stretching your muscles and other tissues.
At the same time, you try to keep your breath calm. It can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and make you less anxious. But there are some yoga positions you shouldn’t do if you have certain conditions, so talk to your doctor and mention it to your yoga teacher before you start.
This can help you relax — as long as you don’t get too anxious at the thought of needles. An acupuncturist puts very fine needles into specific points on your body, but if that makes you nervous look for someone who does acupressure instead. .
Often associated with massage, but aromatherapy refers to the actual aroma from the various herbs and flowers that have different healing qualities.
Simple smells like lavender, chamomile, and rosewater may help calm you and they come from concentrated oils you can breathe in, put into be an atomiser or rub on your skin in a massage oil base.
Scientists think they send chemical messages to parts of your brain that affect mood and emotion.
This must be one of the very oldest ways to relax and relieve anxiety as your therapists uses their hands to manipulate squeeze and push muscles and other soft tissues.
If you have sore muscles or aches then you may want to find a therapist to does deep tissue massage, but for all you want is simple relaxation then you will want to look for someone who can also offer aromatherapy as well.
Biofeedback – Hypnotherapy
A trained therapist guides you to think of things that make you anxious, while a computer reads your brain waves and gives you feedback.
With your therapist, you practice calming strategies and watch the feedback on the computer to see how they’re working. Over time, this can help you control your anxiety.
Sadly, at menopause, this is a commodity that is often in short supply. Sleep recharges your brain and boosts your mood and focus, and you’re less likely to be anxious if you get enough of it.
To get better sleep, go to bed and wake up at the same time. Keep your room cool, dark, and quiet, and don’t watch TV or use the computer right before bed.
Regular exercise also can help with sleep, but try to do it in the mornings and afternoons — night workouts can mess with your slumber.
You may find a couple of drinks relaxing, but too many can rewire your brain and make you more anxious. Heavy drinking also can affect your work and home life and cause other health problems, which can add to your anxiety.
No more than one drink a day for women, 2 for men, is a healthy rule of thumb.
Often anxiety can be related to are feeling overwhelmed so best to figure out what you have to do right away and what can wait.
A to-do list can help you break up large projects into smaller tasks and keep you focused on what to do next. Ask for help when you need it, and let go of things that aren’t that important.
Keep a journal
This is something I have been recommending for many years as research has shown that people who keep the daily diary or journal are able to deal better with anxiety and stress and those who don’t.
It can help you look for patterns and figure out what makes you anxious. Family events? Work? School? Too much caffeine? Maybe it only happens when you’re hungry.
When you find yourself worked up, try to write down what you’re doing and thinking. Once you know what’s causing your anxiety, you might be able to manage it better.
Many symptoms of stress and anxiety are made worse if you are also suffering from hormone imbalance. Once you have got that under control, you’ll find it much easier to deal with your symptoms.