Anxiety and menopause
Going through midlife changes, some people have little or no discomfort whilst others may be experiencing unhelpful thoughts and uncomfortable feelings. Certain situations may increase your anxiety and you may find yourself wanting to avoid them, enhancing your feelings of isolation. Any past traumas, hurt and resentment may arise giving you an opportunity to heal those parts of you.
Normally it is around midlife that we experience menopause, although for some this could be brought on earlier by shock, stress or an illness. It can be a time for change in both your internal and external worlds. You may be looking at what is no longer working for you and beginning to make changes. Please seek professional support if you are experiencing any distress, are tearful and angry.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, here are five tips that can help you feel more grounded. They can also increase your self-awareness and bring your focus to the present moment.
- Give attention to your body sensations. Try to be curious without making any judgement. Notice the air in your nostrils as you breathe. If you have any tension or discomfort in your body, just be with it.
- Be really curious about your surroundings or focus on an object, describing it in detail using your five senses - what you can hear, see, smell, feel and taste as appropriate.
- Collect items that can help to make you shift your mood such as an inspirational photo or postcard, a beautiful painting, a calming scent or aroma, favourite music, meaningful pebbles or crystals, or flowers.
- Do things that make you feel good like meet up with a friend for tea, go for a walk, watch a film, join a yoga class, or book yourself a professional massage.
- Start a hobby, if you do not already have one, or begin a new project. When you do something you are interested in and enjoy, it can give you a break from the daily stresses of life and it may tap into your creativity e.g. dancing, photography, drawing and painting, learning a new language or playing a musical instrument.
With some experiences such as loss and grief, you may have to stick with your feelings for a while before you can let them go. Find ways to bring pleasure into your life as you face certain issues, some more challenging than others. It is important to look after yourself during this life transition.
There will be times when you will feel happy and other times unhappy. Learn to take responsibility for yourself by expressing your feelings in a healthy way and to ask for what you want. Try to accept life with its ebbs and flows and, like the seasons, trust that this too shall pass.
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About Chinar Abdulaziz
Chinar is a counselllor in private practice based in Ealing and Ruislip. She offers a confidential and safe space for individuals to talk about any concerns they may have with the option of working creatively using art materials. Chinar also facilitates creative workshops and is an affiliate counsellor on an employee assistance programme.