Does mindfulness help with menopause?
Menopause demystified: looking at the science behind common menopause questions
- Mindfulness focuses on the present moment
- Studies show it can help with menopause symptoms
- Tips on how to get started with mindfulness
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on thoughts, sensations and your surroundings.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed or ignoring them, mindfulness helps you acknowledge these thoughts and manage them.
Can mindfulness really help my perimenopause and menopause?
Research suggests mindfulness can help with symptoms such as stress, anxiety and other mental-health conditions, which you may experience during the menopause.
When it comes to specific research on menopausal symptoms, studies have shown that mindfulness has a positive impact on irritability, depression and anxiety in menopausal women .
Another study suggests it can help manage the impact of hot flushes and night sweats .
How do I get started?
In its truest form, mindfulness is a practice delivered by a qualified practitioner, often a mental health professional or clinician.
You may be able to access some courses through your family doctor or find a private teacher via the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches (BAMBA) website.
Another way to try mindful practices is through a yoga class, and mindfulness can also be carried out at home.
How often should I practice mindfulness?
For maximum benefit, try to practice mindfulness on a regular basis – 10 or 15 minutes a day is an achievable goal, and you can use the balance menopause support app to log meditation.
Mindfulness body scan
If you are new to mindfulness, you could try the following calming exercise, known as the body scan. Set aside about 15 minutes for this exercise in a quiet space, at a time to suit you.
1. Lie down on the floor or your bed, ensuring you are comfortable
2. Lie straight, with your arms resting beside your sides, palms facing up
3. Now concentrate on your breathing: breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to do this for about two minutes – you can use the meditation timer in the journal section of the app to help you focus
4. Slowly focus your attention on every part of your body in turn, starting at your feet and working your way up to your head.
5. Pay attention to the sensations and emotions as you move to each part of your body.
6. If you find your thoughts are drifting, acknowledge them and visualise them passing through your body, before returning to the body scan.
1. Sood, R., Kuhle, C.L., Kapoor, E., Thielen, J.M., Frohmader, K.S., Mara, K.C., Faubion, S.S. (2019), ‘Association of mindfulness and stress with menopausal symptoms in midlife women’, Climacteric, 22 (4), pp. 377–82. doi:10.1080/13697137.2018.1551344.
2. Carmody, J. F., Crawford, S., Salmoirago-Blotcher, E., Leung, K., Churchill, L., Olendzki N. (2011), ‘Mindfulness training for coping with hot flashes: results of a randomized trial’, Menopause, 18 (6), pp. 611–20. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e318204a05c