It’s Just a Little Anxiety…Right?

Gail EdgellA series on coping with menopause by Gail Edgell

In today’s fast-paced world with intense deadlines and increasingly complicated financial situations, there is one experience common to menopausal women; anxiety. From speaking to large groups to worrying about the evening’s dinner, we all have unique stressors that increase anxiety in our lives, but while we may not all share the same triggers; we can all empathize with the effects of increased menopausal anxiety.
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  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Sweaty Palms
  • “Mile-a-Minute” Thoughts

The physical affects listed above are only a small sample of the plethora of symptoms that are associated with anxiety in menopausal women and these alone are enough for most of us to seek a solution, but in order to treat anxiety during menopause, one must first understand it.

What is Anxiety?

As stated above, anxiety is a physical feeling, a response to outside stimuli, which prepared our ancestors to stay and fight, or run away from threatening situations. This response, known as the sympathetic nervous system response, or the “fight or flight” response, still holds value even in today’s advanced society, where most of our traditional threats have evolved from fast moving predators to fast moving vehicles. When a sympathetic nervous system response is triggered, increased levels of adrenaline rush to the brain allowing us to make quick decisions and increase our physical prowess. While this increased adrenaline is beneficial in short bursts, prolonged exposure can be dangerous, affecting our bodies in a number of ways including, but not limited to:

  • Adverse effects to the immune system
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Osteoporosis

What Can I Do to Lower my Anxiety?

1. Deep Breathing – Surprisingly enough, a simple deep breathing exercise can prevent our bodies from triggering a sympathetic nervous response.

2. Watch What You Eat – You can keep your body more relaxed by maintaining a constant blood sugar level. It is important to remember that increasing your sugar intake is not a long term solution to blood sugar fluctuations. Try replacing some of the high sugar foods in your diet with the following:

  • Protein rich foods, like eggs
  • Foods loaded with “good” carbohydrates, like oatmeal
  • Whole gain or whole wheat foods
  • Essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish

3. Ensure Hormonal Balance – As we age it is common for women to experience a hormonal state that has become unbalanced. By changing your diet and taking menopausal herbs, you can keep your hormones in balance even during menopause.

Worry-Free?

As discussed above there are innumerable stressors in our lives, most of which cannot be avoided. By following the three easy steps above you can reduce the amount of menopausal anxiety in your life and, in turn, reduce the associated negative effects. So remember the next time you have a tight deadline, or have to speak to a large crowd, take a moment for yourself to take some deep breaths and feel the clam wash over you.

If you enjoyed this article simply click here to gain access to unlimited, valuable menopausal information, a variety of experts and the first three tips in our “Ultimate Guide to Solving your Menopausal Symptoms Today”.

And please feel free to use the comment section below if you have specific questions you would like answered, or have specific experiences you think might be of help to others experiencing menopause.

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