Meditate to cure menopause symptoms! Relaxing technique makes middle-aged women ‘feel less irritable and anxious’
- The technique is loved by celebs including Angelina Jole and Emma Watson
- Scientists say it could reduce anxiety and depression caused by menopause
- They suggest doctors should consider discussing it with middle-aged women
- Mindfulness involves taking stock of the present and letting your thoughts free
It’s a relaxing technique claimed to reduce stress and anxiety and is endorsed by A-listers including Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson.
And now scientists say mindfulness could also help women reduce their menopause symptoms.
Mood changes and and hot flushes are common during the menopause, which most women go through between the ages of 45 and 55.
Effects can be long-lasting and hard to prevent, but experts now suggest taking stock of the present and tuning into their thoughts could help women feel better.
They said mindfulness, which is enjoying a boom in popularity alongside meditation, could be a ‘promising tool’ for middle-aged women.
Angelina Jolie (pictured at the Critics Choice Awards in 2016) has in the past been a champion of mindfulness, which is believed to help relieve stress and anxiety
Emma Watson (pictured at the Beauty and the Beast film premiere in 2017) admitted to meditating and being mindful in an attempt to deal with ‘the messiness of life’ according to an interview with Vogue in 2017
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota quizzed 1,744 women about their menopausal symptoms, stress levels and mindfulness.
Women who scored higher on the mindfulness scale suffered less with irritability, depression and anxiety, the researchers found.
Mindfulness did not make women less likely to be upset by hot flushes or night sweats, however.
The study’s author, Dr Richa Sood, suggested people’s personalities could be a bigger influence on how much they were emotionally affected by those symptoms.
‘These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a promising tool to help women reduce menopausal symptoms and overall stress,’ she said.
‘While more studies need to be done, doctors can consider discussing mindfulness as a potential treatment option for menopausal women.’
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is staying connected to the present moment.
‘You start to let go of all the accumulated stress and information. So it’s not only a time to not ingest, it’s a time to let the body let go,’ says Emily Fletcher, a former Broadway actress and founder of Ziva Meditation.
Mindfulness is also believed to help curb overeating and other unhealthy habits.
While meditating is usually associated with sitting and controlled breathing, mindfulness extends that practice into everyday life and focuses on cultivating awareness in the present.
Sometimes compared to mental strength training, mindfulness can be done while washing the dishes, driving to work, brushing your teeth and during other routine tasks.
The point is to prevent your mind from wandering, gathering fear and worry from the past and future, and training yourself to accept and enjoy the moment.
Experts say mindfulness offers a rest for the brain, increased productivity and the ability to turn off the unfulfilling autopilot of the daily grind and instead live in the present moment.
Source: Associated Press
Mindfulness, famously enjoyed by celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey and Davina McCall, is a form of meditation.
It involves taking time to think about the present and to consider your thoughts without being judgemental or emotional.
It can be done while sitting down, standing, walking or exercising, and simply involves being conscious of your thoughts, which is stress-relieving for many people.
Greater self-awareness is believed to allow people to positively change their view of themselves and their lives.
Dr Sood said: ‘Essentially, the first step in being mindful is to become aware that our minds are on autopilot most of the time.
‘The goal during mindful moments is not to empty the mind, but to become an observer of the mind’s activity while being kind to oneself.
‘The second step is to create a pause. Take a deep breath, and observe one’s own space, thoughts and emotions non-judgmentally. The resulting calm helps lower stress.’
The women in the study were aged between 45 and 65 and took part between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016.
An estimated 37million women in the US and 13million in the UK are currently going through the menopause or have already been through it.
A woman is considered to be in menopause if she has gone a year without a menstrual cycle.
The research was published in Climacteric: The Journal of the International Menopause Society.