One common challenge women entering into, or in the thick of menopausal changes face is the onset of anxiety. What were once fairly minor worries or irritants become magnified into a major crisis. We often feel like a body thief has snatched our once balanced and stable self and replaced it with a crazy women.
We mull over the image of a situation again and again like a movie reel stuck in replay. We analyze a situation until we've invented every possible variation of the story. Often the story is associated with a script of negative self-talk. We feel crappy about our reaction to things, but don't seem to have any control over it. This cycle is emotionally painful and exhausting.
The inner dialogue we run has a direct and immediate affect on our body. One way we can pull ourselves out of this loop is to replace negative thinking with positive intentions. When our thoughts are compassionate, supportive and positive, we feel relaxed, creative and inspired. When that inner chatter is negative or fear-based it makes our muscles tense, our hearts pound and our heads ache, and more often than not, does not generate any kind of productive solution.
For example, if you tell yourself "I'm going crazy" or "I'm a crappy parent" it's likely to stress you out even more and make you feel worse. On the other hand if you can focus on the outcome you want like maybe "I've got this" or "I'm doing my best right now" it relaxes your mind and chances are you'll behave more like the sane person you are rather than the person the body snatcher left behind.
It's not always easy to change the way we think, especially when we're not really ourselves, but one technique that can help is a meditation technique that focuses on positive intentions. This style of meditation (called japa meditation) is bit easier than other forms of meditation because it uses a special tool called a mala.
A mala is a strand of beads and may be worn as a bracelet (called a wrist mala) or more traditionally be made with 108 beads. Like a Rosary, the beads are used to count repetitions of a positive phrase or intention. This conscious and tangible focus on positive intentions re-routes our negative self-talk and helps us stay more positive and more connected with the good person we know we are.