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Menopause And Stress - 4 Methods To Deal With It

Oct 4, 2007
Stress influences most menopause symptoms. This article looks at 4 ways to deal with stress which, if practiced diligently, will help to reduce the unpleasant effects menopause symptoms produce.

Until recently, menopause was viewed as a purely negative event, as it highlighted the end of childbirth potential and was thought to represent a loss of femininity. Thankfully, since the 'wise woman' concept* has become more accepted the positive side of menopause is now emphasized more, including the lack of a fear of unwanted pregnancy, and the acceptance of late middle age as a time of rebirth, growth and opportunity. (*For example, see Leslie Kenton's book 'Passage to Power'. Leslie also includes a whole chapter on herbs for menopause in this book.)

However, menopause symptoms are a problem for many women in the West. All symptoms of menopause can be made worse by stress, so our ability to deal with stress will help to determine the extent of the menopause symptoms we suffer.

The commonest menopause symptoms include night sweats, hot flushes (flashes), insomnia, palpitations, panic attacks, irritability and tiredness. Those directly affected by stress include:

* Insomnia
* Palpitations
* Panic attacks, and
* Irritability

However, other menopause symptoms mentioned will also be worsened by long term stress because of the general debilitating effects of stress on the body, namely:

* Stress weakens the nervous system
* Stress tires out ('exhausts') the adrenals glands - leading to you feeling like a 'wet blanket', and
* Stress can be physically tiring.

It's Our Parents' Fault...

Whether you are a 'high stress' sort of person or not depends largely on what you inherit from your parents. Some people inherit placidity; some inherit stress; some are in the middle! However, we can all learn to handle stress using:

1. Diet
2. Exercise
3. Herbs, and
4. Psychological methods

1. Menopause, Stress And Diet

The main recommendation for diet is to eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods and cut down on foods with low nutrient content. This is simple to say, but harder to do: you need to eat lots more fruit and non-starchy vegetables, preferably raw (if you can) or juiced. Plenty of colored vegetables and fruit equate to plenty of life-giving nutrients.

2. Menopause, Stress And Exercise

Exercise can be very beneficial for stress. Take some energetic exercise at least three times a week. This will help you to keep calm and keep depression at bay, as well benefiting the heart and immune system. It will also help you to keep trim - especially in the abdominal area, where weight tends to accumulate at menopause.

Weight bearing exercises, such as those carried out at a gym, also help reduce osteoporosis which is a particular concern at menopause time.

3. Menopause, Stress And Herbs

Herbs are a great help to build up the nerves and help you keep calm. Some herbs can both calm and build the nerves at the same time. One of these is St John's wort. Other herbs help the nerves and also help balance the hormone system; one of these is black cohos. Take either of these for a three months course and see if you find it helps you.

4. Menopause, Stress And Psychological Methods

To counteract stress at menopause time, two methods which can help include:

1. Hypnotism, and
2. NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)

For hypnosis, a therapist is probably the best choice. If the method suits you, you can expect good results in as little as 2 or 3 sessions. Self-hypnosis is also possible either by reading books or listening to CDs.

NLP can be a powerful method too. The techniques of NLP are used by many hypnotists. They can also be learned from books. One of the best known authors on NLP is Anthony Robbins.

Stress affects us all; however, at menopause time, because of the great changes taking place in the body, its effects can be amplified. Using the methods recommended in this article you can learn to manage your stress levels more effectively, thereby reducing to a minimum menopause symptoms.
About the Author
Max Hill, a practitioner for 20 years, loves sharing what he knows. On www.herbal-menopause.com he gives valuable information about menopause symptoms. Get the benefit of Max's experience and knowledge.
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