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Mind tricks to move you through

  • ABOUT MENOPAUSE

Mind tricks to move you through

Menopause can be a cause of anxiety, but not for everyone. Some women look forward to this new phase of life, others don’t really think about it. If menopause is on your horizon and you are getting worried, stop! ‘The change’ can seem like a scary time, full of symptoms and differences in your body that you neither want nor recognise. However, you don’t have to fear this chapter of your life, instead you can embrace it with a few mental tricks!

                                

When you’re feeling overwhelmed…

Slow your breathing. Pay attention to your breath as it moves in and out of your lungs. This will help keep your heart rate steady and is a good quick fix to get through a moment of anxiety.1–3

Now you’re feeling a little calmer, try to think through what is worrying you exactly. Is it a fear of the unknown? A lack of knowledge? Then seek some answers.

 

Reach out to friends, female relatives or you doctor for more information on what to expect.1 Importantly, also seek information about how to deal with any symptoms of menopause that you think may interfere with your life. This is called problem solving and is an excellent way to deal with fear.2,3

 

Maybe you’re feeling unprepared and too young? These feelings are valid. Most women become menopausal naturally between the ages of 45–55 years.4 See our article “Menopause isn’t the end of feeling young” (hyperlink: https://www.womenbe.com.au/herstory/menopause-isn-t-end-feeling-young) for more on this.

 

Flip your thoughts

Menopause has long been associated with negative things. But it doesn’t have to be! A fun and helpful way to deal with the negative associations can be to flip them to something positive. This is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The basis of CBT is that thoughts trigger feelings, which influence behaviour.2,3 So thinking about menopause as a negative experience, can lead to negative feelings such as worry or fear.

 

Take some time and list all the negative things that are worrying you and try to find a positive in them.1 Here are a few examples to get you going:

  • Hot flushes – think of them as power surges, charging you up
  • Vaginal dryness –an excellent opportunity to talk to your partner about your sex life and explore using different types of lubrication (fun!)
  • Ageing – One of the best parts of ageing is really knowing who you are and caring less about what others may think; focus on reaching that state of comfort within yourself

 

Try playing this game with your friends or family members. Perhaps write out some of your positives and have friends and family remind you of them as you start to experience them. Menopause is a time of change, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Embracing the change can help make the transition a whole lot smoother!

 

©Pfizer 2017 Pfizer Australia Pty Limited. Pfizer Medical Information: 1800675 229. Sydney, Australia 2000. PP-DUA-AUS-0476, 08/2019.

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REFERENCES

1. Beyond Blue, Anxiety management strategies. Available from https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety/anxiety-management-strategies (Accessed August 2019).

2. Better Health Channel, Managing and treating anxiety. Available from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/anxiety-treatment-options (Accessed August 2019).

3. Better Health Channel, Fighting your fears. Available from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Fighting-your-fears (Accessed August 2019).

4. Australasian Menopause Society, What is menopause? Available from https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause (Accessed August 2019).