Many women around my age (still hanging in there in my 40s, just!) Start experiencing hormonal changes that seem consistent with the peri-menopause. The average age of a woman going through the menopause (i.e. cessation of periods) is 52, yet most women will start experiencing changes in their hormone levels - the perimenopause in their mid-forties.
I will discuss here how to work out if your symptoms are the perimenopause, and how to deal with the symptoms.
When you're going through the peri-menopause, symptoms can come and go, and your hormone levels can go up and down, so blood tests can show normal levels of your oestrogen, progesterone and FSH. Therefore, GPs really need to go on symptoms rather than blood level results to diagnose the peri-menopause.
A doctor of mine likened the peri-menopause to having an old banger. When you have an old banger, it might work one day, and then the next day you might have trouble starting it, or it might break down on the way home, yet it might start again later. In the same way, hormone levels can be all right for a while and then suddenly go awry, causing symptoms.
We all have negative thoughts at some time. Often we can be our worst critic, and we would never dare to say those things to somebody else.
When suffering anxiety, negative thoughts (as well as feelings) can overwhelm us. However, the thoughts themselves aren't in fact the issue, after all thoughts are just words, they are not the truth.
However, we tend to see them as real, true, and therein lies the problem. The more frequent the negative thoughts, the more we believe them. Often, our reaction to these thoughts is to try and ignore them or to try and push them away; and the more we notice that they are there, the more worked up we get.
Negative thoughts can make us feel stressed, anxious, depressed and hopeless. However, they can be overcome.
The other day I watching Easy Ways to Live Well on BBC1 and was interested to hear about how hydrotherapy (i.e. cold showers) helps to treat depression, stress and anxiety. This was news to me, so I had to look into it further. It's apparently an old-time natural cure, that actually does work. What's more, it has many, many benefits.
Read on to find out how it works, what the benefits are and a simple way to enjoy this cheap therapy!
There are certain attitudes which form the foundation of mindfulness practice. Here are some ways in which these attitudes can reduce anxiety.
Beginners mind. So often we let our thinking and beliefs about what we know to prevent us from seeing things as they truly are. It is a way of seeing things as new and open to fresh perspective. When you can meet anxiety in this way, with curiosity, you can learn to be free of our expectations based on your past experiences, meaning that you are open to new experiences.
Acceptance means having a deep understanding of how things actually are. It is the opposite of denial, where we can bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is all right when it's not. Sooner or later you can bet that it rears its ugly head! If we can learn to accept the present moment when we are feeling anxious, we can find that those feelings of anxiety soon disappear by themselves. You don't have to pretend that you like it and you can still move towards change. Acceptance means accepting the present moment, so it's just accepting that in this present moment you are feeling anxious. If you can see things as they are, and not how you want them to be, you have a clearer picture of your present state, and are more able to change things for the better.
Maria Hancock,, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Teacher, NLP Practitioner, MSc Health Psychology