How you age is profoundly affected by how you handle stress. If you can handle stress better your body is more relaxed and more capable of maintaining itself. If stress affects you too much it creates many imbalances in your body and this can exacerbate your menopause symptoms.
When we’re stressed our adrenal glands focus on producing the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol for survival. If stress is short-lived then these can keep us focused and alert so that we can handle whatever is happening in our environment. Years ago this would have been an attack from an animal or something else. In our modern environment there are far more triggers.
Simple Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Stress
Often it’s about making some simple changes to reduce your stress. Here are some things you can do to reduce your stress levels:
- Limit alcohol as alcohol raises cortisol
- Wean off caffeine as it recreates stress conditions for the body including raising cortisol. Easy does it. Figure out what is the minimum caffeine you need to survive
- Treat yourself to a massage as often as possible as it relaxes the body and mind
- Try acupuncture as this has shown to improve the quality of life of menopausal women by reducing hot flashes, night sweats and aches and pains
- Have sex. Have an orgasm. Did you know that stroking the clitoris was once used as therapy for women with hysteria (called medical massage)? Stop laughing and go have some sex!
- Stay positive, appreciate what you have and not what you lack
- Get your nutrient levels tested by your GP as menopausal women tend to have some important nutrient deficiencies
- Eat Omega 3 rich food such as salmon, sardines, flax seeds or take a supplement of fish oil as this helps to lower cortisol levels and cholesterol levels
- Eliminate phone, iPad, tablet, laptop at bedtime and in bed as this can be very stimulating. Instead, try 10 minutes or so of stretching and relaxation exercises.
- Eat dark chocolate (above 70% or better still above 90% cocoa). Just a couple of pieces a day is good. Dark chocolate has been shown to have a positive effect on stress levels, mood and memory
Look out for more stress-busting tips from the Menopause Chef and let’s trailblaze through our midlife! Why not join my Facebook Group and get connected to a supportive global community.