Is there anything new to say about menopause, meditation and recovery?

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog, and while there’s been plenty of life stuff keeping me busy, one of the reasons I’ve been reluctant to write is that I was worried I would just be repeating what other people are saying – but probably in a more authoritative or articulate way!

There’s so much out there on peri-menopause, meditation, codependency and all the other areas I write about that I was reluctant to parrot what other people were saying. Then I reminded myself (by looking over to my bookshelf) – do I have just one book on meditation? One book on attachment theory? OF COURSE NOT. It’s flipping overflowing with all sorts of ideas and concepts, spiritual and self-help tomes, not all of which are completely original, but which have helped me navigate my way through life.

With that in mind I decided to note down some of the main principles that are meaningful to me. Although you’ll have heard them all before, I hope some of these may be useful at whatever stage you’re at.

Being present

Everyone is wanging on about mindfulness. And for good reason. Studies have shown that regular mindfulness meditation can help a number of health and psychological conditions. From my own experience I can say it has helped me enormously. There are loads of great resources out there, but I’ve discovered that I do need to meditate for at least 20 minutes at a time. I’ve tried mini mindfulness breaks, and while this is better than nothing, I personally find it doesn’t give me enough time to properly get into my body. As someone who lives most of her life in her head, it can take a while to drop down into my body. So if you’re an overthinker too, I’d definitely suggest aiming for 20 mins or so, to give yourself the time to get into it.

I’ve also recently discovered Mindful self-compassion, by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. For those of us who struggle with self-love and being present (the two often go hand in hand) I found this really helpful and genuinely noticed a difference in my happiness levels after doing it

Detaching

Ugh. Detaching. The thing that is so great in theory but so hard in practice. We all know that we can’t really control other people, nor do we have any business to. But it’s hard and we really need to work at letting things go. I have to set a reminder to mentally go through the things I want to control, in order to try and let go of them. Sometimes I write them out, other times I say it out loud. But it is worth persevering with – I have discovered a lot of peace and space in my life as a result.

Feeling feelings

Double ugh. If only we could just choose the nice ones. But if we supress the painful, scary, angry ones, we will find it harder to experience the joy and happiness that are the flip side. To feel up, we need to be willing to feel the down. And the thing is, all of these feelings are temporary anyway. They’ll only come back with a vengeance if we try to stuff them down, and then potentially erupt inappropriately, like at work or with a new partner.

As an avoidant and Brit I have found it easy to gloss over feelings with humour. I’ve often felt like a head on legs, stalking through life while ignoring the feely bit in between. But doing so has been a revelation. Allowing myself to feel feelings, especially grief, in my body has helped me to release a lot of old stuff, and weirdly it has also helped with some of my menopause symptoms. It’s as if my body doesn’t have to shout as loudly if I give it a chance to talk to me on a regular basis.

These are all things that have incrementally allowed me to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I hope there’s something helpful in there for you. Have a lovely weekend 😊

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