Menopause can cause a lot of women to suffer from anxiety. There are a few things you can consider by trying to manage the problem. Some simple lifestyle changes may be beneficial. Homeopathic remedies can help.
Menopausal anxiety is common and often entirely unexpected. You may suddenly find yourself having general feelings of nervousness, newfound social anxiety or full-blown panic attacks. Anxiety may be a new feeling and experience for you, or if you have previously suffered from anxiety or depression, it may be made worse by menopause. In general, women suffer more from anxiety than men. At menopause, it is often made worse by changing hormone levels. Many women find that these symptoms come and go and different tools help at different times. It’s a case of trial and error. Seek help! And don’t give up trying new solutions.
How do you manage your menopausal anxiety?
By midlife, you’ll have developed your wisdom and personal preferences. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:
- TALK TO OTHERS. Sharing your feelings and emotions is often the best way to discover that many others feel the same way. Use your close network from family and friends. If you do not have anyone to talk to, groups on social media can be alternative, like ‘Homeopathy for menopause‘.
- EXERCISE EVERY DAY FOR 30 MINS. Pick the forms of exercise you enjoy and do something every day for 30 minutes. This could be walking, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, tai-chi, dance – whatever appeals to you.
- FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING. When you feel overwhelmed, take a few minutes to calm your breathing. Breathe in deeply and count to 7, hold for two and then breathe out, counting to 11. After a few deep relaxing breaths, your body and mind can slow down, and your thoughts can become much clearer.
- ME-TIME. So much of our energy is devoted to what’s going on around us. Be our work, family or caring for others. It is essential to take time-out for yourself. So many women prioritise others for so long that they forget how to care for themselves. Start with anything you always wanted to do. Like taking dance lessons, painting or book a massage, whatever appeals to you will be helpful. Here’s your permission to look after yourself. Everyone will benefit.
- MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS. Use meditation to focus, quieten the mind, and become present at the moment. Mindfulness can create feelings of wellbeing and relaxation, lower the blood, heart rate and reduce anxiety. There are many materials online you can use to help you getting used to this routine. Headspace is a website with a phone app that many people find easy to use.
- PRACTICE YOGA. Certain combinations of poses can help reduce anxiety and leave you feeling stronger and more relaxed. You can join a class, have private lessons or do it alone at home.
- KEEP SOCIAL. The most important preventative or help for anxiety is to keep social. As we age, our social circle can shrink, and this in itself can heighten anxiety. It is imperative to say yes to all social invites, keep a broad circle of friends, and seek new friends when the opportunity arises. Join classes and groups for people with similar to your interests.
- TRY TO RESOLVE PAST ISSUES. Menopause can be a time for forgiveness, healing, and compassion. Whether you need professional help or can come to terms with these issues yourself, try your best to let go, forgive, and move on. Start by being compassionate with yourself.
- MONITOR YOUR DIET. How many cups of coffee or caffeinated drinks are you drinking every day? Try cutting back to see if caffeine triggers your anxiety and nervousness.
- Have a blood test to see if you are low on any vitamins or minerals in your diet. For example, you may be short of Magnesium – nature’s tranquiliser, or B Vitamins that give you energy.
- Certain foods contain natural ingredients that might provide relief for your symptoms. Herbal tea, such as chamomile, is known for its calming properties. Oatmeal has a calming effect on the nervous system.
- Alcohol is a depressant, and we can often use it to lessen the feelings of anxiety, thereby exacerbating the problem. Try to reduce your alcohol intake. This will help to reduce the hot flushes as well.
- SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP. From your GP, a counsellor, a psychologist, or support groups. In the meantime, you may like to keep some Bach flower rescue remedies nearby to help you feel more grounded.
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is a very effective and well-proven tool to help relieve anxiety. CBT offers a practical, hands-on tool. You will need to find a qualified practitioner for this type of therapy.
- Herbs can help with anxiety. Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi) is a herbal remedy with many benefits, including antioxidants, improve memory and brain function, reduce anxiety and stress. It can be used as a powder and added to smoothies, soups or stews. In tincture form can be taken with water. More information about the many benefits of bacopa find here.
Homeopathic remedies for anxiety:
- Aconite is a useful remedy when there are sudden feelings of intense panic. There is a lot of fear, even a fear of death, which could be triggered by a shock or a traumatic experience. There may be palpitations, shortness of breath and a flushed face.
- Argentum nitricum: Suitable for individuals who have anxiety about small spaces, heights, bridges, and personal health. Often with digestive upsets during anticipation.
- Arsenicum album is a good choice for anxiety that is accompanied by feeling chilly and restless. The person may be exhausted, yet will still be fidgeting, pacing and anxiously moving from place to place. This remedy suits people who are concerned with order and security and who like to feel in control of everything. There may be a fear of impending disease or ongoing worries about health issues, bringing with it a desire for company and lots of reassurance.
- Gelsemium is one of the key remedies for anxiety and apprehension. It is accompanied by a feeling of great weakness, trembling and even dizziness. In extreme cases, the person might be almost paralysed with fear, incapable of doing anything and wanting to hide away in a corner.
- Ignatia: This may help depression or anxiety following a sudden trauma, grief or shock. Ill effects from bad news, fright, anger, grief or loss. They may experience extreme mood swings, going from crying to laughing. Have a desire to be alone, tend to sigh or yawn a lot, and are hypersensitive to external impressions, such as noise, odour, touch. The person needing this remedy feel worse from consolation.
- Kali phosphoricum is indicated when a person has been exhausted by overwork or illness and feels a deep anxiety and inability to cope. The person is jumpy and oversensitive and may be startled by ordinary sounds. Hearing unpleasant news or thinking of world events can aggravate the problems. Insomnia and an inability to concentrate may develop, increasing the sense of anxiety. Eating, warmth, and rest often bring relief. Headaches, backaches, and nervous digestive upsets are often seen when this remedy is needed.
- Lycopodium may help anxiety due to responsibilities, which may become a fear of failure. They have a severe lack of self-confidence and suffer from anticipation anxiety and stage fright. Will experience anxiety when new challenges arise in work or social situations, which may cause digestive problems, irritability or claustrophobia. Desire to be left alone but dreads solitude.
- Natrum muriaticum: This may help with chronic stress and mild depression. Deep emotions and a self-protective shyness can make these people seem reserved, and private. Even when feeling lonely, they tend to stay away from social situations, not knowing what to say or do. Easily hurt and offended, dwell on unhappy feelings, and isolate themselves—refusing consolation even when they want it. However, they are often sympathetic listeners to other people’s problems. Claustrophobia, anxiety at night with fears of robbers or intruders, migraines, and insomnia are often seen when this remedy is needed.
- Phosphorus is for people who are openhearted, imaginative, excitable, easily startled, and full of intense and vivid fears. Strong anxiety can be triggered by thinking of almost anything. Nervous and sensitive to others, they can overextend themselves with sympathy to the point of feeling exhausted and “spaced out” or even getting ill. They want a lot of company and reassurance, often feeling better from conversation or a back-rub. Easy flushing of the face, palpitations, thirst and a strong desire for cold, refreshing foods and drinks are other indications for Phosphorus.
- Sepia may help people who feel drained and unloved, overburdened by the care for the family. It is an excellent remedy to balance the hormones in the menopausal period.
- Silica can help those who have a lack of self-confidence and fear of public speaking. People who need this remedy are capable and serious, yet are also nervous, shy, and subject to bouts of temporary loss of confidence. Anxiety can be extreme when they are faced with a public appearance, interview, examination, or any new job or task. Worry and overwork can bring on headaches, difficulty concentrating, and states of exhaustion, oversensitivity, and worries. Responsible and diligent, they often overreact and devote attention to tiny details—making their work more difficult. They often have low stamina and come down with colds, sore throats, or other illnesses after working hard or being under stress.
- Stramonium: This may help people whose anxiety is causing night terrors.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider.
For best results and individualised treatment of your menopausal symptoms, I recommend that you consult a qualified homeopath. The homeopathic treatment is holistic and will involve all your symptoms.
Interested to know more about homeopathy?