Mindfulness for Menopause ‘Can Help’
For some women, menopause symptoms can be debilitating, so it’s understandable that they might scoff at the thought of mindfulness for menopause being a cure-all.
But a new study carried out in the US has gathered evidence showing that practicing mindfulness may actually help to ease some symptoms of menopause.
Mindfulness for Menopause: The Evidence
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic’s Women’s Health Clinic in Rochester, New York monitored 1,744 women aged between 40 and 65 over a two-year period from the start of 2015 until the end of 2016.
They were asked to provide details on the severity of the menopause symptoms they were experiencing, on how well they managed to keep their stress levels in check, and how often they actively practiced mindfulness.
Examining this data showed the scientists - led by women’s health specialist Dr Richa Sood - that women who reported feeling the most stressed typically saw a greater reduction in their menopause symptoms after taking part in mindfulness activities, such as meditation.
This suggests that being more mindful of your emotions and how you are feeling could help to reduce menopause-related stress and anxiety, which can begin to take hold in some women due to the hormonal imbalance that occurs around the time of menopause.
Dr Sood commented: “While more studies need to be done, doctors can consider discussing mindfulness as a potential treatment option for menopausal women.”
How to Practice Mindfulness for Menopause
Dr Sood explained: “Essentially, the first step in being mindful is to become aware that our minds are on autopilot most of the time.
“The goal during mindful moments is not to empty the mind, but to become an observer of the mind’s activity while being kind to oneself.
“The second step is to create a pause. Take a deep breath, and observe one’s own space, thoughts and emotions non-judgementally. The resulting calm helps lower stress.”
So, how can you do this in your daily life?
Make sure you’re in a quiet place with no distractions and really think about your body and your breathing, taking a moment to centre yourself. Breathe in and out deeply for your chosen amount of time and recognise the thoughts you’re having.
If your mind ends up wandering or you get caught up thinking about something negative, don’t berate yourself, but remember to bring yourself back to that feeling of being centred.
Try it - you could find that it really helps with some of the mental menopause symptoms you’re experiencing.
What About the Menopause Symptoms Mindfulness Can’t Help?
Avoiding stress and keeping as calm as possible could help to reduce your risk of severe hot flushes and night sweats, but the study found that mindfulness was more beneficial overall for mental rather than physical menopause symptoms.
If you’re seeking natural alternatives to HRT to help manage your symptoms, menopause supplements could help.
For example, Femarelle® supplements contain DT56a, which can mimic the effects of oestrogen in your body. This means it could lower your risk of hot flushes and night sweats, as well as other symptoms, such as low libido and vaginal dryness.
There are three different types of Femarelle®, all with slightly different ingredients to provide support with different menopause symptoms. Find the right one for you here.