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Ten Ways to Relieve Menopause Anxiety

by Holly Osterman on August 30, 2011

Just when you think you’ve experienced every possible symptom in the book, menopause anxiety rears its ugly head. Usually, at the worst possible time. Maybe you’ve started a new job and need to make a good impression. Or your kids are off to college, leaving you with an empty nest and plenty of time to think about it. Hormones are out of whack. And then, out of the blue, you feel confused, scared, and helpless.

You’re not alone. Millions of women struggle through menopause symptoms every day.  But while hot flashes and mood swings may get all the press, menopause anxiety can turn your life upside-down.

If you’re a regular visitor to Menopause ChitChat, you probably know that we offer a private menopause forum. Women share their feelings, ask questions, and openly discuss their symptoms. And, believe it or not, menopause anxiety is one of the hottest topics in the discussion forum right now. One member talks about suddenly being overcome with fear. Another describes her menopause anxiety as an adrenaline surge and feels like her mind in working on overdrive.

So what can you do when anxiety attacks? Fortunately, several of our members and resident experts have offered their thoughts on how best to find relief and get your life back on track.

  1. Develop an Exercise Plan. Pick a form of exercise you really enjoy and do it on a regular basis. Consistency is the key in helping you burn off some of that nervous energy.
  2. Take Time to Meditate. Use meditation to focus, quiet the mind and become present in the moment. Meditation creates feelings of well-being and relaxation, lowers your blood pressure and heart rate, and can reduce menopause anxiety and stress.
  3. Focus on Your Breathing. Couldn’t be any simpler and you can do it anywhere—car, office, elevator,etc. Too often do we get ourselves caught up in a moment and then, after a few, deep relaxing breaths, things slow down and get much clearer.
  4. Practice Yoga. Certain combinations of poses can help melt the anxiety away and leave you feeling stronger and more relaxed.
  5. Try Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or Tapping. Forum member and Healthy Lifestyle Coach Wendy Vineyard suggests that by focusing on the problem, then tapping on specific points on your body, you can quickly neutralize stress, pain, and other emotional challenges. Sort of like acupuncture, but without the needles.
  6. Resolve Past Emotional Issues. Stop carrying around the baggage and live your life. Whether you need to seek out professional help or can come to terms with these issues yourself, try your best to let go, forgive, and move on. Life is too short.
  7. Talk to Your Doctor. By keeping an open dialogue and developing a good relationship with your doctor, you may be better able to manage physical causes of your menopause anxiety. Consider asking about hormone replacement therapy (HRT). While some women are not comfortable with the pills or creams, HRT has made a big difference for many.
  8. Mind Your Diet. How many cups of coffee or caffeinated soda are drinking every day? Try cutting back to see if maybe excessive caffeine triggers your anxiety and nervousness.
  9. Explore Herbal Remedies. Certain products contain natural ingredients that might provide relief for your menopause symptoms.
  10. Educate Yourself. Learn more about menopause symptoms so that you can make wise decisions about what’s best for your mind and body. And a great place to start is 360 Menopause. In fact, founder and forum member Gail Edgell recently hosted a blog talk show specifically about menopause anxiety and irritability.

And sometimes, when you’re struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, it helps to share your feelings and connect with other women. Just knowing that you’re not alone on this journey—and talking openly about your anxiety—can be very therapeutic. Join the discussion today at our menopause forum. We’d love to hear from you.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacqueline September 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Nice to read all these tips. Since this is my number one issue in perimenopause, I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic and think the anxiety has something to do with low progesterone levels (that were normally higher in the second of a menstrual cycle). Progesterone has a calming effect and if not enough of it is there, it sets of the chain reaction of anxiety. The key, as you point out, is pay attention to your hormones and bring them naturally in balance.

Here’s the article on anxiety and menopause that discusses the hormonal link… http://www.womentowomen.com/understandyourbody/symptoms/anxiety.aspx

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Holly September 12, 2011 at 5:55 am

Thanks for the link. The more a woman can understand her body and the changes she’s going through, the better she’ll be able to cope during this time of her life. Educating oneself is so important because perimenopause and menopause are not the same for any two women.

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Betsy September 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

All the changes are a bit overwhelming. It’s always reassuring to know you are not alone.

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Dorothy October 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm

When I start feeling more anxiety, I check where I might be in my menstrual cycle (you never know at this stage!), and make sure I take magnesium and GABA. Also, maintaining my regular exercise schedule is the biggest help. Anxiety gets worse when I let it ‘go to my head’ and working out drops me into my body. And of course, meditation helps to soothe my psyche tremendously.

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Ruth February 11, 2013 at 2:49 am

I am 51 years old but have no other menopause symptoms except anxiety. I have been found to be very low in B12. I now have B12 injections and these have dramatically improved my head rushes and palpitations from 50 times a day to zero on good days. After 4-5 weeks I know it’s time for another injection as the head rushes and anxiety comes back gradually each day

My anxiety was so bad I thought I’d have to give up work because I could barely drive

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Judy Fregien February 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I am having cycles of panic/anxiety for the past 5 years, getting worse. The “attacks” come every 25 to 30 days, last 5 to 7 days (sound familular?), and are getting harder and harder to endure. I already take prozac and have for several years. Any suggestions? Has anyone tired the OTC meds?? HELP

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Holly February 25, 2013 at 8:19 am

Judy-
These are very serious issues and definitely something you need to discuss with your doctor. Are they giving you any feedback? What about your pharmacist?

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Holly March 26, 2013 at 8:32 am

The best advice I can give is to put pen to paper and just get the thoughts flowing. The rest will follow. Good luck.

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connie jackson August 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Every time I start feeling anxious, I start thinking something medical is wrong. I go from breast problems, to stroke to nervous break down. What the heck is wrong with me? I mean why do I have all these negative thoughts. Then I go out and I feel fine.

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Holly Osterman August 27, 2014 at 8:18 am

Sometimes the best medicine is to get out of the house. We get so caught up in the day to day that we forget to enjoy ourselves and just relax.

Reply

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