Want to get a handle on menopause symptoms? Try meditating. A 2011 study from the University of Massachusetts, Worchester, found that women who participated in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program which included meditation experienced a decrease in intensity of hot flashes and night sweats and an overall increase in the quality of life.
We don’t have to tell you that menopause can be a stressful time. Hot flashes, night sweats and sleep problems can all take a toll on your mental state. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. Meditation can help keep you calm and relaxed in the face of major changes, and the best part is, you can do it anywhere.
Menopause Relief in Just a Few Minutes
Try this 10-minute mindfulness meditation practice daily to help restore your mind/body balance.
Step 1: Pick your spot.
If you want to make meditation a part of your daily life, it will help to do it at the same time and in the same place. Choose somewhere quiet, where you can sit comfortably and be focused and uninterrupted for 10 minutes. If you have never meditated before, consider putting on a guided meditation – we like the guided meditation app Insight Timer (especially because it is free and easy to use), but there are many apps available for download.
Step 2: Sit up straight.
Whether you’re sitting in a chair or on the floor, make sure your back is straight. Imagine a string pulling the top of your head up and lengthening your spine.
Step 3: Pay attention to your breath.
Close your eyes and bring your attention inward, focusing on your breathing. Become aware of the rhythm of air moving in and out of your lungs. Try to empty your mind of all thoughts – focus on being present in the moment, alert and aware of your breath, how your breath moves through your body, and how your body feels.
Step 4: Clear your mind.
If thoughts creep in and distract you during your meditation practice, acknowledge them without judgment, and then return your focus to your breathing.
Step 5: End your practice.
After about 10 minutes (or longer if you’d like), shift your focus to your surroundings. When you’re ready, stand up.
Sounds easy, right? Not exactly. You’d be surprised by how hard it is to quiet your mind. Like any new skill, it requires practice and dedication. Some days will be easier than others. But all days will help guide you toward a calmer, cooler, more collected you.
If you would like to learn more about the practice of mindfulness without having to read scientific studies, try 10% Happier, a best-selling book by ABC correspondent Dan Harris. His book is witty, candid and an easy read that follows his journey to mindfulness and eventually a daily practice (with invigorating behind the scenes stories about life at ABC).
In addition to practicing meditation and mindfulness, there are other lifestyle approaches [link to future blog article, “Lifestyle and Home Remedies to Treat Menopause Symptoms”] to relieving the symptoms of menopause. Learn about Relizen, a non-hormonal supplement that provides relief of hot flashes, fatigue, and other symptoms of menopause.*†
†Data supporting the use of Relizen to reduce fatigue was gathered from our open-label study.