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Finding Peace & Calm during Menopause - Could this be a Gamechanger for You?

christine maragkakis simply be specialist Feb 15, 2024

 The world is a crazy busy place that we stress over and rush through on our way to our final destination, forgetting that it is actually the journey that we should be enjoying. We have a culture of busyness and time runs away from us and this seems even more so when we are dealing with the effects of our menopause, but are we actually fully taking part in our lives?

When we take time to be mindful and cultivate stillness, we get to know ourselves and learn to become peaceful in our minds and in our words and actions. This, in my opinion is a vital life skill. It’s not unusual to feel more anxious, agitated and stressed out during our menopause. Any kind of transition is the perfect time for reflecting on what we have achieved and what we want to do in the future, and our menopause is a big transition. Society would have us view it as an ending but I prefer to see it as the start of a whole new adventure. I’m wiser than I have ever been and I want to experience as much as I can.

For me, learning how to become still and peaceful was a game changer and I’d like to share what I do with you, in the hope that it will be a game changer for you too.

Now I guess being peaceful has a different meaning for all of us, but for me it means non-confrontational, being compassionate and supportive and enjoying a stillness in my mind with an underlying bubbling of joy. Do you know what I mean? I'm sitting quietly, I feel calm but the corners of my mouth turn up and I feel so connected and joyful.
This for me is bliss.

That’s not to say that I don't feel stressed or disillusioned sometimes because that would be a lie. I can’t say that I've never hurt anyone with my words or actions either. But I do try to stay mindfully aware so that for most of the time I don't. Like everyone though, I’m a work in progress.
So how do you cultivate a feeling of calm?

As I've already said, Mindful awareness is the first step. When you pay attention to how you are feeling, you can then work out which thoughts are causing you to feel that way and you can then, challenge and change the ones that aren’t working for you.

You see emotions are not what you should be living your life by. Emotions are just signposts to your thoughts. Positive emotions = happy thoughts that empower and support you. Negative emotions = thoughts that are limiting you or holding you back in some way. These are the ones that you need to start working on so that you can be free of their negative influence. In addition to Mindfulness, which is the rock in my life and work, I have found the following helpful with finding peace:

Acceptance.
Trying to accept people and situations for how they are, not how I think they should be. When I expect people to behave in a certain way or things to work out in the way I believe they should, I am often setting myself up to fail and this then has a knock-on effect on my confidence and how I feel about the world. I then learned that I can prevent a lot of my suffering if I am honest about the people that I surround myself with and accept whatever has happened without judgement.

What I mean by this is that if you often believe that people should behave in a certain way and then they don’t. You get angry or upset, re-play their actions over and over in your head and get stressed out over it. I choose not to do that anymore. Instead, I try to be honest with myself about who people really are and what they are capable of I can’t see any point in me getting angry at someone when they don’t meet my expectations because I’ve set the bar too high for them in my mind and it’s not in them to be that way. That’s just not fair on them. In the same way. When something doesn’t go to plan, there’s no point in me getting all bent out of shape over it because no matter how I feel about it, I’m going to have to deal with it as it is, so, I might as well save myself all that pain and anguish and just get on with it. As Byron Kate says “You can argue with reality, but you will lose 100% of the time.”

This is not to say that I let people walk over me or sit there helplessly as life treats me as it will. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

I try to let things go. When something hasn't gone the way I thought it would or something sad has happened, I allow my feelings to wash over me, accepting and acknowledging each one, I then try and look for what I can be grateful for in the encounter and sometimes, I have to dig really hard to find that. But then I can look at what I can learn from the situation, so I don’t find myself doing something similar again.

I also know that if I don’t learn from the experience, then similar lessons will keep appearing until I do.

This approach helps me to see the issue clearly, without my emotions getting in the way, which means that it’s then easy to find a solution, because I’m calm and can think straight.

The big win here is that I then move from being a victim of what has happened to me, to taking control of my life and choosing how to respond rather than being triggered and reacting.

This is an incredibly powerful mindset switch and saves so much stress and anxiety.

Silence.
I make time each day to sit in silence. This is part of my daily meditation practice but I also make time during the day to sit quietly and check in with myself To ask myself how I am feeling and to notice whether my thoughts are working for or against me so that I can deal with them calmly before they cause any real trouble.

Nature.
I love to spend time in nature. Being outside helps me to slow things down. I am very proactive and organised, but I make an effort to not rush through everything and I try to create space in my day to just be and notice what’s going on. Being outside in nature helps me to relax and let my mind mull things over without me interfering with it and often by the time I’m back at home, a solution or new idea for an adventure has popped up in my mind.

The Breath.
I use my breath as a relaxation tool. Most people only shallow breathe all day and that can cause the body to feel under pressure which results in feeling anxious, stressed or tired. Taking regular deep breaths helps us to slow down, increase the oxygen supply to our brain so that we can think clearly. It also tells our brain to activate our rest and repair system (parasympathetic nervous system) which is absolutely vital to keeping our body and mind healthy and well.

I use these two breathwork or pranayama practices to creating peace.

One is Nadi Shodhana Breath
 Also known as “alternate nostril breathing,” It’s really good for relieving stress and anxiety as it balances the two sides of the brain. You don’t need any special equipment just: Sit up straight. Hold your right hand up to your face. Close your right nostril with your right thumb while placing your index and middle fingers on your forehead. Slowly inhale through the left nostril. Pause for a few moments after the inhale. Close the left nostril with your ring finger. Release the breath slowly through the right nostril. Repeat for a few rounds As you breathe, set an intention to balance the brain and try to stay focused on the process. Alternate nostril breathing is really helpful when you want to quieten your mind before sleep.

The other breathwork is Sahita Kumbhaka Breath

We tend to be aware of our inhales and exhales but we often ignore the importance of the space in between. Kumbhaka is the pause between the breaths, and can help us find stillness through focused mindfulness.

How to Practice:
Inhale slowly.
 Pause and hold for a few moments at the top of the breath.
Exhale slowly.
Hold for a few moments at the bottom of the breath.
Repeat for five minutes, then return to a normal breath. This pattern of breathing may feel a bit unnatural at first – after all, we’re typically rushed in our busy lives – but in time you will become more aware of your breathing patterns (and the stillness found in them) and over time, you’ll find that your breath naturally becomes deeper, and intentional.

I find that the more peace I can create in my mind, the more peaceful I want my environment to be. This includes avoiding chemicals where I can, eating well, managing toxic people and situations effectively.

I try not to get wrapped up in other people's dramas.I’m happy to listen and to offer suggestions if I’m asked to but I no longer feel any need for them to take my advice or to try and convince someone that I am right.

If I want to stay peaceful, I have to respect the fact that everyone has the right to live how they see fit, not how I think they should or could be living. Who am I to know what’s best for someone else? I haven’t lived their life

I hope that by reading this, you can see how some of the things that I can can help you to make small changes in your life so that you can manage your emotions easier and reduce the negative impact of the menopause so that you can show up in the world with kindness and compassion for yourself and other people.

Finding calm is a practice. It takes work but in my opinion the results are so worth it. If you would like to get in touch or work with me, please contact me via my website. Take care.
 

If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch or work with me, please contact me via
my website.
   https://www.simplybe.org.uk/  -   [email protected] 

Take care. 

Chris. 

For more guidance on reducing stress, anxiety and overwhelm in your mind and life during perimenopause and post menopause from Chris Maragkakis-  click the image below: 

 

 

 

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