According to Dr. Christiane Northrup in her book, The Wisdom of Menopause, our brains catch fire at Menopause. Interesting idea. And you thought it was only those annoying sweats! (You know, those moments that make you feel a sense of complete panic because you absolutely must take off all of your clothes even if you’re in a crowed mall, but you know you can’t.) But like the increased temperature in our bodies, our brains also become fired up! Sparked by hormonal changes, a switch goes on, signaling changes in the part of our brain associated with enhanced intuition. The ultimate result of course depends on how willing we are to make the life changes our hormones are calling for us to make.
Dr. Northrup tells us that our brains actually change during perimenopause. These are the years leading up to menopause that are actually the trickier ones. Perimenopause is the time often referred to as PMS times 10! Although our culture encourages us to believe that our mood swings during this time are just the result of our unbalanced hormones, there is solid evidence that a high stress level (especially situations that leave you feeling angry, frustrated or powerless) is the actual culprit behind many of the hormonal changes in the body. So bottom line, if your life involves high stress situations and they are left unresolved, this emotional tension can intensify your perimenopausal hormonal imbalances.
I know you’ve heard all of the standard stress reduction techniques like exercise (yoga in particular), meditation and especially laughter in any form (the bigger and more belly-centered, the better). So I’m not going to cover those here. That’s for another post. But, I do want to leave you with one thought.
To take a new path in your life, you must leave the old path behind.
Although this can be a scary thought, there are great rewards to pulling your courage together, leaving behind the familiar and embracing the unknown. Understand that your willingness to step out onto a new path will come in time. Be patient, but most of all, be kind to yourself.
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