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Meditation and the Menopause

It’s easy to think that meditation isn’t for you: you’re not one to relax easy and there’s no way it can really help. 

Yet, so many women swear by it. We all know how anxiety, stress, fatigue, and body aches can severely disrupt our everyday lives. But how could a bit of meditation help? Well, we know that stress itself can aggravate nearly every one of our symptoms and positive thinking is linked to better health. In fact, one studysuggests that just 15 minutes of mindful meditation can have powerful decision-making effects, leaving our minds in a calmer, more rational state. By removing stress and changing your state of mind through meditation, you have the potential to change how severely or frequently you experience your menopausal symptoms.

Our mental health is so important and it has a major effect on our physical health too. Taking even just 10-15 minutes a day (or every couple of days) to detach from our screens, detach from our stresses and anxiety and just live in the moment has proven results for our overall wellbeing. Often times, we just need to slow down. It’s a difficult habit to get into, but it can completely change how you feel and the state of your mental health.  

Our mental health is so important and it has a major effect on our physical health too.

If you’re even just slightly interested, there’s two ways of approaching meditation: guided meditation or self-meditation. Guided meditation is, as you might already have guessed, meditation that is guided by a professional. There are plenty of classes and courses you can join, which might be the best options for beginners or sceptics who need a bit more help getting into the whole thing. There are also so many guided meditation videos (via audio or video) that you can do at home. That said, if you don’t think it’s for you and you’re wary about the whole thing, a class or course would be more helpful to start with as you won’t be dealing with distractions or the temptation to just quit and watch TV instead. 

You can also give it a go yourself, with no guidance. Follow these steps:

  • Sit or lie comfortably, somewhere that’s quiet and distraction-free. You don’t need to sit cross-legged in the way meditation is often depicted – just be comfortable. Only choose laying down if you’re sure you won’t fall asleep, as that’s not exactly the aim here!
  • Close your eyes. If laying down, consider a cooling, relaxing eye mask.
  • Breathe naturally. Take notice of how your body feels, any changes in sensation.
  • Now focus solely on breathing, clouding out any worry or stress of your life. Just focus on breathing. There’s no correct pace. Just focus on breathing, and how your body moves with each breath. 

Self-meditation should be practiced for 10-15 minutes about 3-4 times a week. If you’re not sure if you want to start, it could be beneficially to do a week of self-meditation and see how you feel. That said, you’ll likely get most benefits from guided meditation classes. However, they can be expensive depending on who you see and will also take a few sessions to have an effect. 

Your stress and anxiety levels are completely related to how you experience your physical symptoms,

In any case, even if you don’t think it’s something that’s right for you, it’s definitely worth at least considering it or talking to your friends about it. Our worlds are so full of stimulation, from the millions of media messages we get a day to the hundreds of calls and texts and emails and social media posts we see. It’s exhausting and can even be toxic. Your stress and anxiety levels are completely related to how you experience your physical symptoms, so clearing your mind regularly can really change your menopause journey. Again, it takes practice, and a bit of willingness to try something new, but in the end, it is possible to think differently and turn things around.