This was certainly the case for me. I was working in corporate high tech as perimenopause descended on me, and I didn’t even realize what it was for the first year and a half. My doctor was no help, and neither was my trainer or my dietitian. Once I started getting hot flashes the penny dropped. My unexplainable weight gain, sore joints and mood swings suddenly made sense as part of perimenopause. 

But I was on my own. My professional support team didn’t seem equipped to guide me, so I dove into the research. I was determined to improve my lifestyle and fend off the worst of the symptoms. By taking a proactive approach, I was able to retain control over my life and try different solutions with an open mind. This certainly kept depression at bay, but it also helped with hot flashes, joint pain and weight gain. 

In fact, studies have shown that switching up negative thoughts and attitudes can result in a reduction of symptoms. Even in the face of difficult symptoms, women consistently say that changing their outlook helps. The following tips might help you transform your menopause experience.

Watch Your Thoughts

There is growing evidence that the absence of positive thoughts has a greater negative impact on our health and well-being than does the presence of negative ones. One way to cultivate positive thoughts and emotions is to keep an “appreciation journal.” 

“It changed how I felt psychologically. I learned to appreciate things more. Appreciating and enjoying a beautiful spring day because it’s beautiful. I think the act of journaling opened my eyes as to how beautiful life can be.”

“Life is what I make it for myself and no matter what the externals, at the end of the day by attitude and outlook I decide whether the glass is half full or half empty.”

Laugh

Laughter brings us closer to people, moves us into more positive mind-sets, can stimulate our immune system, enhance our learning and memory, and help us cope better with the stressors in our lives. Laughter is a great menopause support.

Make Time for Yourself

Exercise, eat right, and incorporate relaxation techniques into your day. This practice moves you out of the stress response, which is harmful to our health. Eliciting a “relaxation response” increases muscle relaxation, quiets the mind, promotes positive emotions, learning, concentration, and creativity. It can also reduce symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, PMS, and pain. When women actually make themselves a priority (even 15 minutes a day), dramatic changes can occur.

“It’s very empowering to learn what your triggers are and to be able to change your lifestyle so that you feel good. And, it’s not a sacrifice. You’re really giving yourself a gift.”

Stay Connected

Social support is key to health and can even help you live longer. It is one of the first pieces of advice women share.

“At this stage, women need other women — friends with a rich life experience and wisdom to share.”

“I measure my success in terms of the richness and closeness of my connections with good people.”

Stay in the Moment

Try to be mindful (aware and present) of each and every moment of your life. This practice prevents you from worrying about the future (often fraught with anxiety) or dwelling on the past (possibly tinged with regret). By combining positive thoughts, a healthy lifestyle, and relaxation techniques, many women are changing the menopause experience.

“I feel that I’ve acquired tools and learned techniques that fortify me when I feel my body is a stranger. I can quiet it with deep breathing and meditation. I have techniques to help me sleep better. I am kinder to myself. More empathetic to others. I have new thoughts and behaviors that help me change my mood before I feel at the mercy of the blues. I walk daily (after years of detesting exercise). I feel my energy rebuilt and my mood lifted with exercise. I have new power to be positive.”

“I am more aware than ever of my own ability, and responsibility, to change the course of my life, and to choose happiness, joy, and peace, rather than waiting for someone else, or fate, to deliver it.”

This is an opportunity to reshape our lives to take on new meaning after children grow up and leave the nest. It can open up new avenues of creativity and reward that you never had the time or focus to see through. This is your time! Enjoy it.

 

Extracts from The North American Menopause Society: Make Your Menopause a Positive Experience

 

#lifestyleapproach #perimenopause #menopause #holistichealth #hormones #inspiration #gratitude

The shift from perimenopause into menopause can be a time of reflection and inspiration or a time of confusion. Any major change can be challenging, but we have a choice of fighting it or embracing it. It is an inevitable transition, so logically finding ways to adjust and thrive are the better option. Then it’s a matter of getting the emotions aligned through all the symptoms.