Relaxation Techniques for Menopause
Menopause can be stressful. Physical and emotional changes can take a toll on your wellbeing. If you are awake frequently at night due to hot flashes, you may be on edge due to a lack of sleep. You need help now!
Let’s look at some of the most effective relaxation techniques that can help you to feel better right away.
1. Take a Breath!
Go ahead; gently close your eyes right now and take a big, slow breath in through your nose. Let the breath expand all the way into your abdomen. If you are sitting down, place your hands on your abdomen and feel it rise as your lungs fill. Feel your breath infuse your entire body with life giving oxygen.
Now exhale gently. Notice how much more relaxed you feel already. Repeat this exercise two more times. With each breath, feel tension slip away from your mind and body. Incorporate this practice into your daily routine several times each day. Whenever you begin to feel stressed or start a challenging task, remember to take a few breaths.
You can do this anytime, anyplace. No one needs to know what you are doing, but you will reap the rewards of feeling more grounded, centered, and relaxed. You will approach challenges with increased clarity and decreased tension.
2. Practice Present Moment Awareness
Here is a simple, yet profound, technique you can use immediately to ground yourself. Use this exercise several times daily. It is especially helpful if you are feeling detached and anxious. While it can be done immediately, I recommend that you do the deep breathing exercise first.
For a moment, simply stop what you are doing. Take note of everything that you see in your environment. Notice textures, colors, objects near and far. Observe as many details as you can. You may notice shadows, reflections, or brilliant sunlight.
Next, concentrate on all of the sounds that you can hear. If you are listening to music, note the nuances of each instrument. If it is quiet, listen to hear if you can sense the sound that your own breath makes as you inhale and exhale.
Now notice all the odors in your environment. Hopefully, there are some pleasant aromas, however be aware of any smell in the environment. Don’t judge them. Simply observe.
Then notice any tastes in your mouth. Perhaps you are chewing a piece of minty gum or maybe you had a garlicky dish for lunch. Again, do not judge, simply observe the taste.
Now turn your attention to your sense of feeling. Is the air around you warm, moist, cold, dry, or windy? Is the chair that you are sitting in made of a soft fabric or hard plastic? What else can you feel?
This exercise works on a couple of levels. The key is not to judge your environment; simply be in it. It can be a distraction from your problems. It may also serve to increase your ability to trust your senses.
When you are stressed, tired, or hurried, you likely go on auto-pilot and essentially numb out. This exercise provides you with the opportunity to essentially “come back into yourself.” If you are feeling detached, disconnected, or panicky, this exercise provides rapid relief.
While you are going about your day, remind yourself every now and then simply to stop and notice what is going on. The key is to simply observe and not to judge. If you notice something that's not to your liking, you may decide to change an aspect of the environment later, but for now simply concentrate on observing it.