Meditation and Menopause
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While menopause supplements are great at reducing the symptoms of menopause you are likely to still have the occasional symptom no matter what menopause supplement you take. However, a menopause supplement is one of the best things you can do as a first step. This is because menopause supplements are generally low risk, natural, and require relatively little effort. That said, no matter how much your menopause symptoms are being reduced, menopause comes with physical and mental challenges that meditation can help you overcome.
Meditation helps you relieve stress. However, unlike other forms of stress relief, meditation helps give you the skills to cope with stress when it does occur, in all its forms. So, for example, when you have a hot flash, the person you become after meditation will be better able to cope with the hot flash. You will generally feel more control over your mind and body. You will develop “mindfulness” the art of being aware of the present and the things that are going on around you. This will guide you through difficult experiences. Meditation improves sleep, makes you smarter, and makes you less likely to be depressed, any much more.
So meditation means a lot of things to different people. One of the most common perceptions of meditation is that you are trying to “stop thinking” or that you are trying to “empty your mind.” While these things sound deep, they are not all that helpful to guiding you. Meditation is an active thing. You are focusing your awareness on one thing so that your mind is not lost in repetitive cycles of thought. In focusing on a single thing, you are taking control of your mind instead of letting your mind be controlled by any thought that pops into your head.
The first thing to do is sit in a comfortable position. The traditional cross legged position is very difficult but meditation can achieved in any relatively comfortable position like sitting on a chair or any cross legged position you feel comfortable in that is not hurting you. It’s important to have an erect back. Also try not to get so comfortable that you get sleepy. You should research the right position for your body to take based on your abilities.
Once you’ve found the right spot, the next thing to do is take a lot of deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Ok now, you want to focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale slowly and rhythmically through your nose. Count to ten. So the first inhale is one, the first exhale, is two, second inhale is three, etc… Whenever a thought pops into your mind, you must stay focused on counting while at the same time, gently allowing it the pass.
You can practice counting to 10 for a few weeks until you feel ready to just focus on your breath. Or you can try a body scan which is my personal favorite. With a body scan you just focus your awareness of the sensations of the body. You can focus on feeling the breath going into your nose or the tension in your shoulders etc.
If you practice what I have written above for a month or two you should already begin to see dramatic changes in your mind. You may think about joining a local meditation center.