Just how much does mindset and attitude affect the experience of menopause?

Try this:

Finish these sentences with the first word that pops into your mind:

(This is for your eyes only, so I invite you to suspend any need to be politically correct, just go with the first word that pops into your mind)

  • Menopausal women are…
  • Menopausal women should…

Were there any surprises in what you wrote down?

Were you more negative or positive than expected?

Next ask yourself if this is this your conscious belief? Or have you absorbed these from the general culture?

Think positive

Mind over matter, or menopause in this case: it can be very annoying to be told to “just think happy thoughts” when your reality is far from happy or positive. However, positive attitudes towards menopause and this time of life, are associated with less severe symptoms.  In fact, attitude can sometime predict severity of symptoms.

The aim is to clear out what we have absorbed from society, and to make conscious choices about what can help.

I love this quote:

The world will ask who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you

– Carl Jung

By creating a more positive mindset, we can reduce the isolation that absorbing and internalising negative cultural beliefs can lead to. Fear of humiliation, being laughed at or not taken seriously, can stop us from seeking help.

Creating a supportive mindset for yourself

It is possible to modify our internal dialogue through conscious consideration of the framework we have and what societal ideas we hold.

Neutralising thoughts about symptoms has been show to have a positive effect on both the frequency and distress caused by hot flushes. Combining this with breath work can be even more effective.

eg.  Think “ok, here’s a flush, let’s see how this goes”.

The key:

  • Notice without judgement
  • Acceptance

Noticing without judgement:

Aiming to acknowledge symptoms when they occur, and trying to suspend any negative thoughts, especially as they pertain to you as a person. For example: it’s not your fault you have joint pain, and it’s not a reflection of your and your worth.

Acceptance:

This can be challenging for some people, especially if they have an ingrained perception of menopause being a negative experience that’s associated with aging and irrelevance.

When we are able to accept what is happening, it can open up the space we need to separate ourselves from the symptoms that are occurring. This can enable us to look at them objectively and choose a course of action to manage them.

Ultimately: you are not your symptoms, and your symptoms don’t define you

Take stock & evaluate

Notebook with cover words every day is a fresh start
time to take stock and evaluate

Peri-menopause / menopause is a time of change in a woman’s life. It can be an opportunity to take stock and consider what’s serving you and what needs to change.

“Growth mindset” has become a catch phrase, and can be very useful if it appeals to you. This is about using the experiences you have and learning from them. Accepting what we can’t change, and changing where we can (and chose to).

You may like to consider the “gifts” of menopause (what others can you add?)

  • New found ability to speak up for yourself, and others
  • Setting boundaries – saying no when you need to
  • Stop sweating the small stuff
  • A time to truly prioritise your wellbeing

A challenge, should you chose to accept:

If you are ready to take charge of your mental and physical wellbeing as you transition through menopause, you may like to try one (or more) of these approaches:

Think, and believe: I’m not my symptoms, I’m more than that

Approach with curiosity – what’s going on for me? what am I learning about myself?

Compassion – aim for kindness and gentleness

Create sensory space or Sit Spot, a space where you can sit in nature, just be & notice

Above all, remember: this too shall pass.

What will you do when your body has done the transition and is free from reproduction?

Having something to look forward to can be a powerful tool to help in challenging times.

If you would like to talk with someone about your goals, and how to achieve them, please reach out and book a free 15 min call with me. click here to book a time I would love to work with you to develop a strategy towards a future you look forward to, and that excites you.

About Anja

Anja is a Health and Menopause Coach as well as Personal Trainer. She is passionate about working in partnership with women just like yourself, to develop personalised strategies you can implement to achieve your health and wellbeing goals.

Contact Anja for a free 15 minute chat to see if this is for you: click here to book a time

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