Anxiety during the menopause can have a negative impact on your lifestyle.
Anxiety is when you are continually worried or tense. It appears to affect almost twice as many women as men and is a common symptom of the menopause.
In general,anxiety is characterised by a constant sense of worry over normal everyday events, much greater than the situation deserves. Although you may realise this, it can be difficult to shake off the feeling so that you are not constantly on edge and irritable.
Anxiety can also disturb sleep, leading to a host of other menopausal problems such as memory lapses and headaches.
During the early stages of the menopause (known as the peri/menopause), levels of the female hormones start to fluctuate. These changes can lead to PMS symptoms which appear and worsen in the week or so before each menstrual period. Other psychological PMS symptoms such as low mood may also be present as well as physical symptoms such as period pains, bloating or breast tenderness.
Part of the explanation lies with the fact that oestrogen plays an important role in managing the chemical activities in your brain. When the level of oestrogen is high you feel well. As levels drop, a number of symptoms such as low mood and anxiety can set in.
Racing thoughts are a component of anxiety. Our thoughts are full of worries, fears, doubts, regrets over perceived past mistakes, and imagined future horrendous outcomes. Thoughts and emotions are connected, so our anxious thoughts create anxious, roiling emotions, which in turn create more anxious thoughts, and we are caught in a trap. When you use mindfulness to extricate yourself from anxiety’s trap, you allow yourself to let go of anxiety. You stop struggling and accept things for what they are. Acceptance isn’t giving in to anxiety; it’s stepping away from the negative thoughts and emotions so you can observe them from a distance.
Rather than an escape from anxiety and problems, mindfulness lets you step away from them so you can live fully in the present moment. With mindfulness, you live in the present moment without judging anything. When your thoughts are centered on what is happening now, there is less space for anxious thoughts and emotions.
I work with you one to one in 8 weekly sessions of 60 minutes each that include, meditations and mindfulness and compassion in daily life. All the practices are based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy. I help you to deal more effectively with difficult thoughts and emotions and to learn to appreciate each moment of your life more and so improve the quality of your life.
I recommend that you commit to the daily home practice of 10-20 minutes twice a day. This gives you the best chance of learning the skills and helps to build mindfulness into your daily life.
Please note this support is not designed for people who are acutely ill nor is it a substitute for professional therapy.
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