Jane’s anxiety is taking over her life. “I can’t take this anymore. I feel like my body will burst, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and would go on these trips with my family that was too long for me to handle. I’d get anxious and start crying or throw up, but then eventually we got through the thing, right? The worst part about today is at least those other times I could tell myself it would be over soon enough as we pulled into our destination; But now? How am I supposed to know if this will ever end?”
Many of us have been in Jane’s shoes or are going through this right now. But, let’s talk about this situation, and how you can cope with it.
Anxiety In Menopause
Anxiety is a common side effect of menopause; it characterizes by a persistent feeling of worry and anxiousness. People who have anxiety tend to get very worked up and concerned about events or situations, which other people find completely normal and stress-free. Even if you realize that the things you are anxious about are not worth worrying about, it can still be challenging to get rid of the feelings of anxiousness.
The effects of anxiety
Anxiety can affect your mood, relationship with others, sleep quality, and general well-being. If you suffer from prolonged episodes of anxiety or it affects your day-to-day life, you should consider seeking advice from your healthcare professional.
One of the main effects of anxiety is disturbed sleep patterns. Many women already find it difficult to sleep correctly during menopause due to other symptoms, including night sweats and hot flushes. After a couple of days of disturbed sleep, you may feel irritable and tired, but the effects can be much more severe if poor sleep quality continues. Sleep deprivation can heighten anxiety and contribute to poor health, increased susceptibility to illness, mood swings, and low energy levels.
Why does menopause cause anxiety?
Menopause may lead to an increased risk of anxiety because estrogen levels fall; estrogen plays a vital role in balancing chemicals in the body. A reduced level may lead to a low mood. The changes you go through during menopause can also make you anxious, as you have to deal with symptoms you’re not used to, and you may worry about your health, the process of aging, and how you feel once you’ve reached menopause.
Anxiety and worry can take over your life if you allow it to. Whether we like it or not, constant stress and worry can physically make us sick. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate anxiety.
The first step is to figure out precisely what you’re stressing about.
Is it something you can change? Is it something you have no control over? By determining the root of your anxiety, you can better understand how you can overcome it.
For example, if you’re feeling anxious about some symptoms related to perimenopause, you can change this worry. You can start by trying some self-help techniques, or you can seek help from a health professional specializing in menopause. Taking action is the surest way to defeat anxiety.
The truth is, there are plenty of situations in your life that you can change with some effort. For example, if you’re concerned about your weight, the good news is that you can change it! We can help you set up your unique DNA-based action plan to manage your weight. After you take the appropriate actions, little by little, your weight will melt away, and your health will improve.
By determining the root of your anxieties and developing ways to turn them into something positive, you can often overcome them.
Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your anxiety:
1. Know your anxieties. Write down precisely what’s causing your anxiety, then note down ways you can change the outcome. Knowing what you’re up against is the key to feeling better about yourself and your current situation.
2. Breathe. Once you’ve pinpointed the things, you need to change, sit back and take a breath. This form of relaxation can help you calm your racing heart and give you peace of mind.
- Rapid breathing from anxiety can lead to a panic attack. Don’t let it get that far. Breathe deeply and slowly as soon as you feel yourself become worried or anxious.
3. Visualize. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to overcome anxiety is the technique of visualization. Choose a quiet space in your home, light some candles, and close your eyes.
- Imagine yourself in your ideal situation. Feel how calm you are and visualize letting go of your worries. Think about how happy you’ll be once your source of stress has been diminished. Positive visualization can help you move toward the happier vision you’ve created in your mind.
4. Use positive affirmations. When things get tough, and you feel yourself losing control, repeat a positive statement over and over in your head. For example, if you need a job, you can repeat something like: “I am a valuable and hard-working individual who is worthy of a fulfilling new opportunity!”
- Reaffirming positive thoughts repeatedly can help you believe that anything is possible. The power of the mind is endless.
5. Diet and exercise.
Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can physically help you handle stress and anxiety. The stronger the body is, the stronger the mind is. It’s a fact: if you abuse your body with junk foods or drugs and alcohol, your body and mind will react negatively.
- Take good care of your body, and it will help take care of your worries.
6. Seek support. Talk to someone who has been in the same situation. Reaching out to friends and family or seeking professional help can do wonders to help you get rid of your anxiety.
- Once you’ve seen that someone else has gone through and overcome what you’re experiencing, it gives you great hope that you, too, can do the same.
Anxieties are a part of everyday life. How you choose to manage them is what makes the difference. Stop letting anxiety control you. Take the reins and let anxiety and worries know that YOU are the one in the driver’s seat of your life.
If you are struggling to implement these strategies into your daily life, we are here to help you. We can hop on a quick Zoom call to build a plan for you, or if you just want to discuss life as a middle-aged woman – let me know and we can set a time to have a quick chat!