Science Says: Mindfulness Aids Menopausal Signs

mindfulness and 40+

Mindfulness.

Have you noticed it’s a bit of a buzzword at the moment, right up there with meditation and ommmm-ing?

While I have to confess to being a bit of a holistic, spiritual dabbler, I actually had to look up the definition of mindfulness to really understand it.

The funny thing is, it’s so simple. A no-brainer in fact, but it’s something the majority of us forget to do.

What Is Mindfulness?

Being present in the moment.

That’s it. No magic potion or crazy technique. It’s just an awareness of self.

Mindfulness is so relaxing it’s proven to help reduce stress and anxiety and it’s been given an even higher profile by well-known fans like Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey.

New Research From The Mayo Clinic

Now, science has now proven this practice can also help reduce the signs of menopause – especially perimenopause – such as hot flushes and mood swings.

A study by the Mayo Clinic in January 2019, asked nearly 1750 women aged 40 to 65 over two years (2015/2016), about their menopausal signs, stress levels and mindfulness.

The results showed that those who practised mindfulness experienced less irritability, depression and anxiety.

“These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a promising tool to help women reduce menopausal signs and overall stress,” said the study’s author, Dr Richa Sood.

The Art Of Mindfulness:

  1. Take your mind off autopilot and give yourself permission to let go of all the stress, worry and information running around in your head.
  2. Simply stay connected to the present moment, without judgement.
  3. Enjoy the calm.
  4. You can practice mindfulness anywhere: sitting down, walking, while you’re driving, eating breakfast, doing the ironing, brushing your teeth.

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.