Natural Reactions to a New Stage in Your Life
For many women, menopause and pre or “perimenopause” (and in some cases post-menopause) carries with it mood swings: abnormal variations in your emotional and psychological state that can range in severity from mildly annoying to extremely disconcerting – even scary.
There’s no other way around it: Menopause is a life changing event, signaling the metaphorical “end” of one stage of your life, and the beginning of another. But that’s no reason to panic!
For many women menopause is a tumultuous time – coping with changing levels of hormones in the body as well as the cerebral aspect of evaluating your choices so far, and planning what you decide to do with yourself in the future. But that doesn’t make it a bad thing.
Don’t be surprised if you start to doubt aspects of your life that have been your “rocks” in the past. Deep thoughts aside, there’s a very good chance you’re going to notice aberrant tastes, smells, and even preferences in the weather. You’re not crazy – these and other emotional and mental manifestations of menopause and the change your body is undergoing are completely natural.
Recognizing Mood Swings: Harnessing the Truth Within
Unfortunately, “Mood Swings” (especially when referring to menopause) usually means the sudden onset of feelings such as depression, anxiety, and generally being irritable – which can disrupt your baseline attitude or demeanor.
It is much less common to have wild upswings into euphoria, laughter and impromptu elation – but it is possible! So whether you go from good to grumpy in the blink of an eye or are suddenly smiles from ear to ear, don’t fight it – if you embrace it and learn from it, these emotional highs and lows may make you a stronger, fuller person than you ever were before.
Face and Embrace Your Feelings
There is no healthy way to suppress your emotions – so it’s not a good idea to even try. Simply taking short breaks throughout your day (when necessary – we’re not advocating absentia) to reassess can help, and deliver wisdom you didn’t have before.
Remember, you’re not trying to discover what (if anything) you’re doing wrong – but why you’re feeling that something is amiss or out of place. Delving inside yourself and learning to know the real you through introspection is one of the hidden talents that menopause will force you to master.
The good news is that these tempestuous mood swings will even out as the process of menopause progresses – and once you’ve passed through it into this new and potentially exciting stage of your life, these emotional changes may actually lead to deeper insights about your innermost self.
These mood swings, coupled with the change in your body’s hormone regulation processes, can easily result in mild to severe depression. While it is important to know that this is not unheard of and far from abnormal for women experiencing the onset of menopause to feel this way, it is not “okay” to feel this way – if you are unhappy or experiencing feelings of depression, do not ignore it.
While these feelings have a natural origin, it does not mean they aren’t potentially harmful to your psyche. There are both herbal remedies and pharmaceutical prescriptions that can make you feel better, but be aware: when your body passes through this initial period of emotional ups and downs, it should develop a stronger tolerance for these types of “dips in the road.”
This does not mean that you shouldn’t talk to someone. You should not and do not have to suffer in silence – and oftentimes confiding in someone else can deliver immediate relief, without the risk of dangerous prescriptions.
Sharing is the path to Healing
A trusted friend, family confidant, or even a mental health professional can help you explore your feelings – helping you determine where these stronger feelings of unease and depression stem from, and how to cope. You may come to some profound realizations about where you’ve been, and where you want to go during the second half of your life.
Don’t repress your feelings with medication or alcohol – progress your feelings by working through your personal revelations with friends, family and even professional help. There are herbs that can give you a boost to temporarily guide you back to a more even keel (without becoming physically or chemically dependent), but even these are no substitute for self-discovery.
Menopause is a biological process – but for many women, it is also very much an emotional and spiritual one. Use your mood swings from menopause to learn more about who you are – and even “who you want to be now.” This information may just make you into a wiser and stronger you … and unlock the hidden treasures of the second half of a life well lived!