How to regain positivity during menopause when you’re feeling low
Most women say that they have difficulty regaining their positivity during menopause. The changes your body is going through have deep impacts on how you feel. It’s as important to acknowledge this reality as it is to learn ways to regain positivity. In this article we look at the ‘7 Positivity Principles’. Our goal is to give you the insights, tools, and encouragement to increase your positivity.
7 Positivity Principles
1. Be grateful
Let’s start with one of the simplest and most effective – gratitude. If you don’t regularly appreciate the small things, you won’t truly appreciate the big things.
Feeling grateful every day is a deliberate and effective way to reconnect us with reality: it connects you with what you have, as opposed to what you might be seeking to achieve, or feel that you are lacking in your life.
Daily gratitude is a stress buster and anxiety-reducer because it forces us to realise that things are simply not that bad / hectic / out of our control / etc.
There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for in a day: a song you like just played on the radio, the sun is shining, a friend sent you a text… You don’t have to look too hard to find things that make you thankful.
That’s why we recommend making gratitude a part of your ‘Start the Day Ahead’ morning routine. Each morning, simply write down three bullet points in answer to the question “Today I am grateful for?”. It doesn’t matter what the answers are; it’s the daily process of being grateful which does us good.
2. Choose how you react, and take control
Something you didn’t want to happen just did. How are you going to react? Lash out at your nearest and dearest? Blame somebody, anybody? Slip into a foul mood and ruin your day?
Let’s look at three common ways in which we react negatively, and at ways we can stop doing that:
We label events, situations, other people’s responses, etc. as negative. What if you chose NOT to label the thing that has just happened as bad? What if you chose to apply no label at all and just say to yourself “It’s happened so what, if anything, do I do about it?” Just as easily as seeing things as bad we can see things just as things – these are only thoughts after all.
We all have a tendency to see things as all-or-nothing. “If you’re not with me, you’re against me” or “Because this didn’t work the way I wanted, it’s a complete failure”. We all know that things are rarely this straightforward. Stop seeing things as so black-and-white, and start asking ourselves “What’s the upside of what’s just happened?”
Anything uncertain we are likely to see as negative. That’s just our natures; left-over from when the rustle in the bushes could be a tiger, and best to assume it was. How we deal with uncertainty is pretty dumb when you think about it: we worry that the worst is going to happen and make ourselves feel bad. But the worst hasn’t happened yet! So it’s in our minds. That means we invented this bad thing. That hasn’t actually happened. So consider uncertainty in two ways: 1) Worst case – we’ve wasted a lot of time worrying, when we could have been coming up with ways to deal with the problem, or better still, not wasting time dealing with something until we know for certain it needs to be dealt with. 2) Best case – whatever fear is going to happen turns out better that expected, and we haven’t wasted time worrying.
How we see things is how we react. Choose to be positive.
3. Flip negative self-talk into positive encouragement
We can be our own hardest critics. “I have no willpower”, “I’m terrible for saying that”, “I can’t cope”, and countless other ways our inner critic talks us down.
So, let’s be clear. Most days we will encounter people, situations, feelings, and states of mind that are going to create the conditions in which we think and feel negative (see first principle). Put simply, there is plenty every day that could get us down. So don’t add to this by letting your inner critic make you feel worse because of negative self-talk.
Easier said than done? Yes, it’s not easy to stop being negative – particularly when you don’t feel in control of your emotions – so here are three simple techniques that can help:
Would you say that to a friend? Ask yourself is the criticism you have just doled out to yourself something you would say to a friend and how they might feel if you did.
Try the power of the possible. “I weigh too much because I have no willpower.” That’s a pretty negative absolute statement that doesn’t reveal the real truth. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, think of possible solutions. In this example we all know how to manage our diet and take exercise to lose weight; so the thought we should – consciously – follow this negative self-talk with is something like, “I know how to lose weight, and I can start doing something about it.” Fact replaces negativity and encourages you to act.
Do something kind. Fight negativity with positivity. If you are feeling low about yourself; then do something that will make you feel good. It can be as simple as sending a thoughtful text to somebody. Show yourself and the world just what a positive person you are.
4. Make time to reflect
Busy, busy. Wine. Dinner. TV. Bed. Does this seem familiar? It’s all too easy to get swept away by the day and never have time to yourself to think about what’s important to you. Time for reflection is a powerful positivity booster:
It clears away the mess in your mind. In her book ‘Morning Pages’ Julia Cameron encourages us to start each day with reflection, just as we encourage you to make journalling part of your ‘Start the Day Ahead’ morning routine. A daily practice of reflection she describes as “Windshield wipers, swiping away anything that stands between you and a clear view of your day.”
Thinking before acting saves time, energy and stress. We deal with things better if we think them through clearly. And that means we are less likely to give ourselves more stress because we are doing things effectively, efficiently, properly, the right way…
Reflection moves our life forwards. By deliberately finding time for reflection, you create the space for life-changing decisions and adjustments.
5. Don’t go it alone
It’s very common for women going through menopause to go it alone in two self-defeating ways: 1) We don’t ask for help and, 2) We try to fix things ourselves.
We don’t like to ask for help for a whole bunch of reasons, such as: not wanting to be a burden, feeling embarrassed, thinking people have better things to do than help me, not wanting to be seen as ‘failing’… Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows people that you care for yourself, and that you value what they have to offer. Strong people admit when they need support and they give others the joy of helping them you on their journey. If you are struggling, then reach out to somebody you trust with two words that acknowledge you have a problem and signal that you need their help: “I’m struggling…”
Everything you’re experiencing in menopause? Millions of other women have felt the same. It is folly to try to invent your own ways of dealing with things when other women have developed solutions that work. Don’t try to fix things by yourself if you are struggling. That’s a core reason why BeingEve exists: to share insights and proven approaches for you to live a happy and healthy menopause.
6. Do something positive. Now
If you’re not feeling positive then do something that will make you feel positive!
This is one of our pieces of advice to help you flip negative self-talk into positive encouragement.
It’s so powerful it deserves its own principle.
And, if you are in any doubt about the power of doing something positive, here are three ways your body can react when you do:
- Your body produces serotonin, which makes you feel calm
- It also produces oxytocin – also known as the ‘love hormone’ – which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health
- Positive actions can also reduce the stress hormone cortisol.
As we said; show yourself and the world just what a positive person you are.
7. Celebrate every day
You got through the day without feeling like shit. Win!
You managed to get to the gym. Win!
One of your children actually picked up the phone “just to have a chat”. Win!
We started our positivity principles with encouraging you to be grateful every morning.
We’ll end by also encouraging you to celebrate your successes. It’s hard enough going through the menopause, so give yourself a break and treat yourself because today, no matter how small it has been, you’ve won!