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The Racing Mind

 

Taming your thoughts in menopause

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‘How will I be able to function tomorrow?’ – my racing mind was asking me.

‘I’ll never get a good night’s sleep again’

‘I have so much to do tomorrow!’

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These were my thoughts as one of the dreaded night sweats woke me up yet again.

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How do I tame my racing thoughts?

I have been on a quest to conquer my racing mind since I was 36. I read, went to courses and training, coaching, meditated, did breathing exercises and TaiChi. I started learning these things, way back then, because I didn’t like who I was; I had anger management issues and couldn’t control my emotions; I felt like I was their hostage.

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All of the things I did proved to be a great set of skills in navigating menopause and to try really hard to help myself through this stage. I had to apply the techniques I learned to change those thoughts to help me go back to sleep.

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The change

‘How will I be able to function tomorrow?’

became

‘I have managed before so I know I can cope’

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‘I’ll never get a good night’s sleep again’

became

‘This is tough, but it will pass’

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‘I have so much to do tomorrow!’

became

‘I can prioritize what I have on my list and just do my best’

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Then at one point I also restarted doing box breathing exercises which helped me deal with the anxiety I felt in the middle of the night, lying awake, waiting for sleep to come. I still do them to this day because of all the benefits they bring.

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I convinced my friends to try

Many of my friends doubted it was possible to control your thoughts and emotions through these methods and they thought I was a bit “new age”. When some of them finally tried to do just 10 minutes of meditation a day, they found that it was all surprisingly easy. There is no mysticism behind being able to catch yourself thinking a thought, examining it, and then changing it to one that serves you better.

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It is so easy to sit there for just 10 minutes every morning or evening and focusing on your breath or some other sensation in the body. Whenever your mind takes you away from that moment, you come back to the breath. That is what it is all about.

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It only takes a few weeks…

After only a few weeks you will become aware of when you are taken captive by your own brain and sent down a path of thoughts chasing each other in almost an avalanche of negative scenarios and worries.

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You will be able to stop that train of negative thoughts in your own head and decide what you want to think. The incredible thing is that this will relax your body and is even likely to lessen the discomforts of night sweats, hot flashes and many other menopausal issues you may have.

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Becoming aware of the fact that we store our worries and negative emotions in our bodies is the first step to learning how to release them and make yourself feel much better.

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You owe it to yourself to try changing your thinking when it isn’t serving you because you might surprise yourself and take back control of your racing mind.

M

 

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