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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Practice Yoga. Certain combinations of poses can help melt the anxiety away and leave you feeling stronger and more relaxed.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Explore Herbal Remedies. Certain products contain natural ingredients that might provide relief for your menopause symptoms.
- 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.