Life Changes Following Menopause
Contrary to popular belief, over 65% of women in a specific survey who were post-menopausal reported that their lives improved significantly following menopause. Granted, this particular study was not a very large one, however it does go a ways to alleviating some of the feelings of loss and negativity that many post-menopausal women are subjected to thanks to our youth-oriented culture. In any case, life after menopause can be a time in your life for new experiences and fun-a time with more choices and independence rather than a time to pull up the rocking chair and give up. In other words, menopause does not need to be a recipe for depression, or a time to merely look back upon our lives and wish we might have made different choices. Many times when things change in our lives we are quick to look at the negative aspects of the change rather than seeing the potential in the change. Although there are certainly physical and emotional symptoms associated with menopause, if we understand more about what our symptoms signify, then they may become much easier to deal with. Many women feel anxiety about their bodies when considering their health following menopause; this understandable anxiety can be largely alleviated simply by fully understanding what is going on in our bodies, and why we may be having a longer adjustment phase than, say, our best friend Liz. Anxiety is usually born out of fear, and once we have a clear understanding of exactly how our bodies are changing, fear is no longer an issue.
When Does Menopause Occur?
For most women, pre-menopausal symptoms may begin as early as the age of 40, with the majority of women going through true menopause in their early 50's. While it is true that once menopause occurs your body will never be the same, that statement is not actually all bad. Many of the changes which occur during menopause can be looked at as merely positive signs that you are maturing and moving into the next phase of your life-don't focus on the ending a phase, but rather on the beginning of another. Menopause can be a stepping stone into the next part of the journey that is your life. Look at the positive aspects of menopause such as the fact that you will no longer be subjected to monthly menstrual cycles along with the cramping, bloating and headaches. Many women report that their relationships become stronger following menopause because they can communicate more freely with their partner, and that the sex is better because there is no more pregnancy worries. The children are either out of the house or on their way, leaving you the freedom to remember who you were before you were a wife and mother-or who you now want to be.
Touching, intimacy, physical contact, communication and companionship, while vital in all phases of your life are even more important during these times, so go the extra mile to establish really meaningful relationships with your spouse, friends, family and work cohorts. It probably goes without saying that you will have periods of awkwardness during your menopause as you learn to change and adapt to a body that sometimes doesn't even feel as if it belongs to you. Just know that once you pass through this period you will enter into a season of your life in which you can truly blossom. There is plenty of joy to be found in this particular phase of life, you just have to look for it!