The Emotional Impact Of Menopause and three things you can do today that really help

by Susanne McAllister

The wide fluctuations in hormones during menopause do not just affect the physical body. They affect the brain and emotions as well. Things like mood swings, depression, and anxiety are common symptoms seen during the menopausal years and it can sometimes reach debilitating proportions. You can have increasing crying spells and irritability that can have an effect on you and those around you.  

Ask my family about that and they will probably agree with you for sure. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the continual alterations in hormone levels during the menopausal years can have a negative impact on emotions so that some women are left feeling depressed, anxious, and irritable. 

Estrogen and progesterone receptors are located in the brain as well as the body so that it is natural to assume that mental and emotional changes will affect the body during times when the hormones fluctuate. 

The Decline in Hormones and Emotions

Several years before the onset of menopause, the ovary begins to lose its ability to make estrogen and progesterone. This doesn’t happen steadily and the hormone levels will fluctuate. Because there are estrogen and progesterone receptors in the brain, things like cognitive functioning and emotions are strongly affected. 

What happens in the brain when the hormones decline is a disruption in the biochemical cascades that make up neurotransmitter pathways, such as the serotonin pathway, the norepinephrine pathway, and the GABAergic pathway. These are brain pathways strongly associated with mood and emotions.  

The final result of the disruption of these pathways includes depressive symptoms, mood swings, and even tempers tantrums. Even women who are normally mentally stable will experience emotional highs and lows that are unrelated to what is going on around them.  

The ovaries sometimes produce too much hormones and, at other times, they produce too little hormones. All of this affects the brain and its neurotransmitters.  

Many women in the perimenopausal and menopausal years feel like nothing in life makes sense. One minute they find themselves crying uncontrollably while the next, they feel extremely angry for no reason. There can be an increase in premenstrual syndrome in the perimenopausal years as the ovaries struggle to make up for their age-related decline. 

What to do about Menopausal Mood Swings

The first thing you need to do when experiencing perimenopausal emotional changes is to recognize that this is a normal physiological process and that you are not going crazy. You may feel and act crazy at times but this isn’t permanent and soon you will return to a normal state. 

I host a free menopause support group that is full of women going through the same, that are supporting each other with a bit of humor and tips for each other every day. Come and join us and get through menopause as naturally as possible. Just click on this link  Menopause naturally support group

In the meantime, here are 3 things you can do to combat these changes. 

  • Meditation.Things like meditation, guided imagery, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong can all reduce stress, which will have a positive effect on your emotions. Meditation especially can reduce your perception of stress and can decrease mood swings associated with menopause. Yoga, tai chi, and qi gong can also be used as a form of exercise, which will help your mood as well as your body. 
  • Exercise.Regular exercise can reduce stress and can affect your emotions. Choose an exercise you like to do and that you can stick with for thirty minutes at a stretch over most days of the week. Even mild to moderate exercise can improve sleep and can help you stave off mood swings.  
  • Sleeping.You need at least 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep in order to have a stable mood. This can be accomplished by maintaining a regular sleep schedule and practicing good sleep habits. If you find you really can’t sleep, you should give natural herbs and supplments a go. My favourite one being

HTP and Melatonin

Melatonin and Magnesium Complex

Or this Melatonin Sleep Spray

Hemp Drops – CBD Oil is another herb that has helped me to sleep better and to combat my anxiety immensly.

Why not join me for my next 5 day better sleep through menopause challenge? You will learn new awesome tips and tricks to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

Not every woman experiences emotional changes as a result of menopause. If you find yourself with emotional changes in menopause that you can’t tolerate, try one of the tips above or make an appointment to see your primary physician, psychologist or menopause coach to help you cope. 

You are not alone!  

Susanne McAllister

www.susannemcallister.com

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