Mindfulness helps lower menopausal symptoms and stress in women, according to research findings. Specifically, the researchers highlighted that being mindful showed benefits for menopausal women who struggled with irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Study lead author Richa Sood explained, “In this study, we found that midlife women with higher mindfulness scores experienced fewer menopausal symptoms. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a promising tool to help women reduce menopausal symptoms and overall stress.”
Mindfulness involves focusing one’s attention on the present moment and observing thoughts and sensations without judgment. Previous studies revealed mindfulness to relieve stress symptoms and improve quality of life.
Menopause is defined as going one year without a menstrual cycle. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and changes in mood.
The study involved 1,744 women over the age of 40 who completed questionnaires that rated menopausal symptoms, perceived level of stress, and mindfulness. Higher mindfulness scores related to fewer reported menopausal symptoms. Higher perceived levels of stress were associated with a higher link between mindfulness and reduced menopause symptoms.
On the other hand, higher mindfulness was not associated with reduced hot flashes and night sweats but was associated with improved irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Dr. Sood added, “While more studies need to be done, doctors can consider discussing mindfulness as a potential treatment option for menopausal women.”
Mindfulness is something that anyone can do and is easily learned. “Essentially, the first step in being mindful is to become aware that our minds are on autopilot most of the time. The goal during mindful moments is not to empty the mind, but to become an observer of the mind’s activity while being kind to oneself. The second step is to create a pause. Take a deep breath, and observe one’s own space, thoughts and emotions nonjudgmentally. The resulting calm helps lower stress,” concluded Dr. Sood.
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