Meditation Techniques to Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause
You already know that stressful situations are not good for your health. But when it comes to menopause, stress can be even worse. Symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and low sex drive can only worsen when you are experiencing stress on a daily basis. To prevent that, it is important to practice relaxation techniques. Practices such as yoga and meditation, for instance, have become very popular recently as ways to manage stress in menopause. Now, we'll review the many benefits of meditation and how meditating can help ease your menopausal symptoms.
Benefits of Meditation in Menopause
Menopause is often difficult to handle because it can interfere with your everyday life. As a result, many women look for ways to alleviate menopausal symptoms; some turn to hormone therapies that are effective but present several health risks. Others try to avoid hormone treatments, because of the said risks, and look for alternative solutions for symptom relief (1).
One such solution is meditation. According to the study (2), meditation can improve vasomotor symptoms of menopause, especially for symptoms such as hot flashes. Hot flashes are the most common symptom in menopausal women, and it is also one of the most bothersome since they can appear at any time during the day or as night sweats. Alleviating them with meditation can really play a big role in improving a woman’s quality of life.
Why are meditation practices helpful for relieving these symptoms? In menopause, it is important to keep a state of calmness and pay close attention to the needs of your body. That is why calming techniques that invigorate the body, mind, and spirit, like meditation, are so important (3). Stress can make the symptoms of menopause much worse, so if you practice meditation or yoga regularly, your symptoms will not be as severe.
When you hear the word “meditation,” you might be imagining a yogi or a monk sitting on a chakra colored tapestry and surrounded with candles. However, there are so many ways you can incorporate meditation into your everyday life, you do not need to worry about creating the perfect atmosphere to start. For instance, meditate sitting or lying down, use a guided meditation, or simply learn a breathing exercise when you are beginning. So get comfortable and try it out!
Meditation does not have to take a lot of time. Being mindful in the moments when you are alone helps you become more aware and present. Whether you have devoted the time to practice meditation or, on the contrary, you do not have much time to engage in a long session, here are some meditation techniques that would help alleviate your symptoms.
Meditating Over Lunch Break
When you are at the office, you are probably experiencing stress the most. Huge workloads, pressure from your boss, colleagues, and difficult assignments – all of these can have an impact on your health and well-being and also your menopause symptoms. So, when it comes to your lunch break, try to use it as an opportunity to get in a quick meditation session. Sit down with your meal and simply stay like this for a few minutes without doing anything. Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this exercise several times until you feel the stress gradually leaving your body. Now, you will enjoy your meal even more.
Mindfulness can help you enter the relaxed state you are seeking. When you are doing mindfulness meditation, make sure to practice it in solitude and remove any distractions. Sit in a comfortable position while keeping your back straight. Now close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Shift your focus to the points where your body connects and perform a full body scan. Inhale positivity and energy, and exhale stress and negativity. Try to feel rather than think, let the sensations come over your body. Let the thoughts come, too, but let them go as soon as they arrive. Stay in the present moment and experience your body and your surroundings.
Listening to Sounds
Meditation is always about tuning out the outside world and focusing on your inner self. It is also a way to achieve more mindfulness in your everyday life. This meditation technique is so easy that you can practice it anywhere – at work, at home, in public transport, in nature, and in any other place. Sit with your back straight and place your hands in your lap palms up. Close your eyes. Now, focus on the sounds around you. It can be your coworkers talking far in the distance, printers working, engine running, or a coffee machine preparing a cup for you or someone else. Try not to think about anything and simply focus on the sounds surrounding you. When you feel like you are relaxed enough, get out of the meditation and continue with your activities.
Good Night Meditation
After you have gone through your nighttime routine, lay down in bed and simply close your eyes. Let your body relax and stay still. Then, focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. While you are breathing, visualize the air going through your body and reaching your heart, your lungs, your arms, hands, even your feet – every body part. When exhaling, focus on the air leaving your body, taking with it all the tension you have experienced during the day. Think about breathing in as energizing your body and breathing out as clearing it from toxins and that which you no longer need. You might feel like you are drifting into sleep, but this is the goal, so just let the relaxation take over.
(1) K. M. Goldstein et al. “Use of mindfulness, meditation and relaxation to treat vasomotor symptoms.”
(2) R. Manocha, B. Semmar, & D. Black. “A Pilot Study of a Mental Silence Form of Meditation for Women in Perimenopause.”