Find yourself having general feelings of nervousness? Or even newfound social anxiety? What about full-blown panic attacks?
Well, you’re not alone!
Various studies have stated that almost 60% of menopausal women are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.
Menopause can bring unexpected anxiety. For some women, they will have their first panic attack and for others- they don’t realise that these symptoms are very common during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Hence, it is important to know the range of symptoms, which may be associated with anxiety perceived during menopause. This will help us diagnose and reduce the intensity of anxiety, in the long run.
Here is the list of common symptoms faced by menopausal women:
Drastic Mood Swings
Insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep)
Avoiding Social Situations
Most of these psychological symptoms are related to physical changes brought by the rebalancing of our hormones. Therefore, anxiety is common amongst menopausal women, as they have constant hormonal imbalances- changes in estrogen and progesterone primarily.
Estrogen is known to calm the fear response in women. However, during menopause, low estrogen levels could increase the levels of adrenaline and cortisol, even when you’re not in a stressful situation.
Although, for most women- this is the time they undergo many significant changes. Their children may leave home, they could face stress from their relationship with their spouse, or job-related stress, and even financial predicament.
It can get really difficult, especially when you feel like nobody understands what you’re going through. However, there are natural precautions we can take to reduce the intensity of anxiety during menopause.
Doctors do recommend going through “Hormone Therapy” or take prescribed depression/anxiety medication. But these are sometimes not enough!
They do curb the fluctuations of hormones, controlling our cortisol levels. However, what about the additional emotional factor, which has nothing to do with the drop in estrogen or increase in cortisol levels?
So, we reached out to our panel of experts to provide their expertise in reducing anxiety and panic attacks, naturally- without having to rely on pills.
They have listed 4 little known tips that could go a long way in reducing the intensity and frequency of your anxiety!
TIP 1: REGULATE YOUR BREATHING PATTERN.
Well, our panel of experts stated that one of the most effective methods to reduce anxiety and panic attacks immediately is by regulating your breathing pattern.
Every time we hyperventilate or stress out, people ask us to “BREATHE!”. The reason is that when people are anxious they tend to take rapid, shallow breaths that come directly from the chest. Chest breathing causes an upset in the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in our body- which reduces the amount of oxygenated blood resulting in anxiety and panic attacks.
Therefore, it is vital to take a “deep breath” which is ideally breathing from your abdomen. How do you achieve this?
Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
Hold your breath for 2-3 seconds.
Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed- this may cause you to hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
Repeat this breathing exercise for 5-10 minutes, until you feel relaxed.
You can perform this breathing exercise as often as needed. It can be done standing up, sitting down, or even lying down.
TIP 2: LAUGHTER THERAPY.
Anxiety isn’t funny. However, many experts and studies state that laughter can be a great coping method.
Now you might wonder how ‘laughter’ helps to reduce anxiety?
The act of laughing is similar to deep breathing (as discussed above). It helps to increase the amount of oxygen in our blood. Coupled with reducing stress hormones, increase in oxygenated blood helps muscles to relax as well.
Researchers have discovered that social laughter (laughing with friends or family) triggers the release of Dopamine & Endorphins (happy and feel-good hormones). This signals the brain to help relieve pain and trigger feelings of pleasure.
However, we need to understand that contrary to what you may think- laughter therapy is not laughing right away. There is a systematic way (done in three phases) to achieve the best results from this therapy.
Here are the 3 phases, which are recommended to be practiced outdoors with a group of people, for best results:
Phase I: Start with clapping your hands in rhythm to activate acupuncture points and activate other people for further phases. Maintaining eye-contact during all phases is essential.
Phase II: Deep breathing exercises are recommended during this phase. This will help to lighten the mood and relax your lungs- preparing it for the laughing session.
Phase III: This phase finally involves laughing, like a child playfully without any reason whatsoever. However, you can practice the steps listed below to kickstart this phase.
Spread your arms up and point all your fingers to the sky.
Tilt your head back and raise your chin up.
Direct your laughter to come straight from your heart.
Bring your arms down, in preparation for the next round of laughs.
You can support your laughter by remembering an embarrassing event or even by imitating someone you know.
TIP 3: TRY NATUROPATHY.
Naturopathy is a medical system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself. It’s mission is to treat the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) by healing the root cause of an illness rather than just stopping the symptoms.
This would involve using herbs, essential oils, massage, acupuncture, acupressure, exercise or nutritional counselling to solve your anxiety problems.
However, we have listed 4 down herbs that can be consumed in the form of- tea & essential oil- to help with your anxiety or panic attacks.
Valerian This herb has been traditionally used to promote sleep and calm nerves; as it contains compounds that have a mild sedative effect on the body.
Holy Basil This is also known as “tulsi” in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine). It is known to be an adaptogenic herb, which is used to treat physical and mental stress.
Chamomile This flower is well-known for its relaxing and sedating properties. It has been clinically proven to benefit people with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.
Lemon balm It’s popularly used in aromatherapy for its soothing and restorative effect.
*on a side note: these specific natural herbs are also found in our leading natural sleep & mood swing relief supplement- inergySLEEP- which has helped many women with their anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
Recent studies have claimed that our gut flora may influence certain brain mechanisms and mental health- affecting depression and anxiety levels. Introducing healthy amount of probiotics, good bacteria and fibers help to regulate the gut flora; drastically reducing anxiety symptoms.
This effect of gut flora on our brains and behaviour is caused due to a “gut-brain axis”, which shows a direct link between our intestinal microbiota and the central nervous system.
The “gut-brain axis” affects our anxiety levels on the grounds that brain neurotransmitters like GABA and Serotonin are produced in the gut and the brain, simultaneously.
GABA is your brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter and is known to calm your neurons (brain cells) to keep your brain from getting overexcited. Our gut bacteria utilize GABA to communicate with the brain to influence our emotions- hence, the increased level of “bad or unhealthy bacteria” can have an adverse effect on our mood, anxiety and stress levels.
This process is true in the case of the link between Serotonin and our gut as well.
Hence, it is important to maintain a healthy level of “good bacteria” in our gut to improve our mood, stress levels, and anxiety.
Therefore, we have compiled 3 effective methods to help you improve the level of good bacteria in our gut.
Method I: Increase the “right” kind of food for your gut health
There are 4 types of nutrients and food intake that is important to maintaining a healthy microbiome in our gut. 1. High- fiber foods: legumes, beans, peas, oats, bananas, berries, leeks, etc, have been clinically proven to create a nurturing environment for “good bacteria” in your gut. They act as a source of nutrient for healthy microbiome and provide the energy to grow and maintain a healthy balance in the gut. 2. Fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, kefir, etc, are great dietary sources for probiotics as well.
Method II: Take Probiotics
Taking probiotics as an additional dietary supplement accelerates the production of “good bacteria” in the gut. The supplements are concentrated and help to create a healthy balance in your gut flora.
A recently acclaimed study asserted the effect of healthy probiotic strains on our mood, behaviour, stress and anxiety levels. They did a study by increasing the consumption of specific probiotic strains- L. Gasseri (Lactobacillus gasseri) & B. Breve- and discovered a positive effect on anxiety and depressive mood within 4 weeks.
These specific probiotic strains are found in our leading probiotic supplement- Provitalize. It has helped many women with their mood swings, depression, and anxiety:
Gasseri & B. Breve are two out of the 8 super ingredients in Provitalize- our leading probiotic supplement trusted by women fighting their mood swings, anxiety and depression caused by menopause, worldwide!
Method III: Take Prebiotic
Prebiotic are fibres and carbohydrates that act as food for the bacteria in our probiotic to work effectively.
A recently acclaimed study asserted the effect of prebiotic on increasing the efficiency of probiotics to manage our mood swings, depression and anxiety levels. They did a study by increasing the consumption of Fructooligosaccharide- a fibre which highly effective as a prebiotic- and discovered it to be a great mood enhancer, reducing depression, and anxiety levels.
Fructooligosaccharide is found in our leading prebiotic supplement- Previtalize. It has helped many women with their mood swings, depression and anxiety:
Fructooligosaccharide is one out of the 5 super ingredients in Previtalize- our leading prebiotic supplement trusted by women fighting their mood swings, anxiety, and depression caused by menopause, worldwide!
We hope these 4 little known expert tips would help you manage your anxiety, mood swings, and depression.
P.S - What is your experience with menopausal anxiety or mood swings? Share your story in the comment section below.