Menopause: Make it a Positive Experience
More than 13 million women in the UK are currently pre or post-menopausal
They can expect to live a third of their lives after the onset of menopause. That’s a possible 35 – 40 years!
However, for many women the thought of menopause often brings to mind an array of unwelcome symptoms, which is often heightened by the media. But menopause can also have a positive impact on your life; firstly, not all physical changes caused by reduced female hormone levels are negative and secondly, many of the emotional and social changes can actually be energising.
“It is definitely a time of choice and should really be about finding out what you really want. It is a time to take charge and shape the remaining chapters of your life.”
Menopause is a crossroads, a time to rebirth yourself, change your focus, and start exploring your own needs more. It’s an opportunity to return to your dreams, resurrect a rusty career or start a new one, focus on your health and wellbeing, go on a pilgrimage, travel … whatever your heart desires.
In addition, the transition to menopause can also be a time of reflection and inspiration. Although transitions of any kind can be inherently difficult, many women experience a newfound sense of freedom and anticipate personal growth.
Here are some ideas and tips for making your menopause a positive experience:
1. Make a choice. Face menopause angrily and in denial or accept and embrace it and make the most of the transition period to set yourself up for the remainder of your life.
2. Watch your thoughts. Stay positive. 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.
3. Stay connected. Social support is vital to health and can even help you live longer. And by talking with other women about these changes, you can create new and lasting bonds that are forged through woman-ness.
5. Embrace the clarity of vision. Menopause is a crossroads, a time to rebirth yourself, change your focus, and start exploring your own needs more. Stop stifling your own needs in favour of others and start making changes needed to forge on with a positive future. Return to your dreams. Resurrect a rusty career, start a new one, go on a pilgrimage, or start a business.
6. Accept yourself. It will be harder to do some things, such as keeping off weight. But rather than complaining about this, accept the change. You are perfect exactly as you are.
7. Make Time for Yourself. When women actually make themselves a priority (even 15 minutes a day), dramatic changes can occur. By combining positive thoughts, exercise, eating right and incorporating relaxation into daily life, many women are changing the menopause experience.
8. Become informed. Use books or the internet to research about other women’s experiences, the physical and emotional symptoms and understand the variety of possibilities during menopause. Knowing what to expect will help your understanding of what’s happening to you. Learning from others will reassure you that you’re not experiencing menopause alone.
10. Trust what you know. Information is power that leads to wisdom. As you absorb information on menopause, trust your own intuition, your critical thinking skills, and especially your body to tell you what is true for you. You probably know much more than you think!
11. 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 (often tinged with regret).
12. 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 help.
Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware
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