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How To Talk To Yourself In Menopause

How to talk to yourself in menopause

“I am no good at this.”

“I don’t look as good as I used to.”

“My partner does not desire me as he used to.”

“My tummy is too big.”

“I am fat.”

 

Do any of the above statements sound familiar?

Does the little voice in your head create continuous chatter and a running commentary on what you are doing with your life?

Self-talk is your internal dialogue. It is what you say to yourself throughout the day, every day. It is a constant background noise.

Many of us are critical of ourselves. When we are teenagers, we scrutinize every inch of our bodies and compare ourselves with airbrushed images of models held up to us as standards of beauty. We go through life comparing our achievements to others and sometimes finding ourselves wanting.

 

What you say to yourself matters.. It matters a lot! It is important to learn how to talk to yourself in menopause because it can color your days and affect your moods.

 

As we enter menopause, we begin to fear the loss of youth and fertility. Our bodies begin to change, and we get scared. Is this the end of desirability? Is this the end of who we are? Will I still be who I am?

This constant negative chatter must end!

 

ANTS are Automatic Negative Thoughts! When you see ANTS crawling around your kitchen counter, you do something to stop them from invading your kitchen. Do the same with the ANTS that invade your brain.

How do you chase those ANTS away?

How to talk to yourself in menopause

9 Tips for dealing with your internal critic

 

1- Notice your inner critic

Pay attention when you hear yourself saying harsh things to yourself. Notice how often it happens. Ask yourself whether you would say these things to a friend. If the answer is no, it is your internal critic sabotaging your wellbeing!

 

2- Give your inner critic a name

Give the internal voice a name. Think of someone you know who is dark and negative and always finds the bad side of a situation. Call your inner critic by that name, or by a silly name. This separates the voice from you and makes it less threatening. When you hear your inner critic, call it by that name and ask it to stop.

 

3- Remember that thoughts are not you

Thoughts can be distorted by many things, like past experiences or a particular perspective. They are not necessarily reality, but your perception of reality. Catch your thoughts as they pop up into your mind, particularly negative ones; stop for a moment and examine them, then put them to one side. If you think: I am sad, shift your thoughts to “I am feeling sadness.” If your thought is “I am angry.”, change it to “I am feeling anger.”  Remember, your thoughts are NOT you!

 

4- Change negative labels or words to neutral ones

When you hear your inner chatter saying something like: “This is awful, I hate this,” change it to “This may be a challenging situation.” When it says: “You are hopeless at this,” change it to “I will have to learn how to do this.”

 

5- Talk back to your inner critic

The problem with the inner critic is that it is a bit of a bully, and it hardly ever gets any push back. It speaks to you inside your head and does not ask for verification from others. Be that other! Talk back to your inner critic and challenge it. The vast majority of what the inner critic says is an exaggeration anyway. Ask: Is it true? Often, it is not. When you push back on the bully, it often goes quiet.

 

6- Be your own best friend

Sometimes, if we allow negative thoughts to rule our inner life, we can become our own worst enemy. When you catch your inner critic becoming negative, ask yourself if you would say those words to your best friend. In all likelihood, you wouldn’t. So, treat yourself as you would treat a good friend.

 

7- Use a prop

A good technique to use when you catch yourself speaking negatively to yourself is to stop the conversation in its tracks. You can establish one thing that you do (a finger snap or a clap) or that you imagine (a stop sign or a thumb down sign) that you decide will be a trigger for stopping the negative thought. When a negative thought appears, you do that thing (e.g., snap fingers) and immediately change to another thought. That action will become associated with a thought shift.

 

8- Say nice things to yourself

Every morning or evening, stand in front of the mirror (perhaps when you are about to brush your teeth) and say 5 nice things about yourself to yourself. It really works! It takes time, and initially, it feels a bit silly, but it is important that you hear good things said about you, even if you are the one saying them, to begin to change negative self-talk. Say: I am beautiful, I am healthy, I am kind, or whatever qualities you sincerely believe you possess.

 

9- Decide to love your body

Body- image and self-esteem matter, as the Canadian Mental Health Association affirms. There is no perfect. Your value is not in the smoothness of your skin or the size of your waist. By the time we are entering menopause, our bodies have carried and protected us for many years. Be kind to your body. Appreciate it and give it the care and love it deserves. You do not value the people you love for their size or perfection. So, learn to love your shape, whatever it is, and be grateful for it.

How to talk to yourself in menopause

The simplest and most straightforward piece of advice is to be your own best friend and to speak to yourself as you would to her!

Take the self-esteem mini quiz here. (Adapted from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale)

To read more about how to talk about menopause, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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