Did you know that an estimated 75 to 85% of women experience some or all the symptoms of menopause?
Natural methods are always the best right? What is easier and more natural than controlling your thoughts and mind!?
Studies have proven that meditation is a very effective natural method to control menopausal symptoms.
Ayurveda and yoga have always given importance to mental health. These age-old sciences recognised centuries back that there is no absolute division between mind and body. Your mental health has a significant role in keeping your physical body healthy.
Ayurveda describes meditation as an essential tool to balance a person’s mind. Smriti meditation is a very special ayurvedic psychotherapy technique that can do wonders.
Difficult to believe that meditation can heal? Our brain has the ability to create new connections between its cells based on our experience. It has been proven that these connections increase if you meditate.
Want to know more? Keep scrolling, and let us walk through a whole new world of healing your body through your meditation.
For many, the first thing that comes to mind hearing the term meditation could be ‘Oh! I know meditation. Isn't it closing your eyes and breathing deep to feel calmness?’ But no.
According to Vedas, the ancient Indian knowledge that comprises yoga and ayurveda, meditation is a way to connect to your deep inner self.
Meditation techniques are called mind-body training techniques by scientists. They work at different levels, such as your senses, mind, intellect and emotions.
Meditation allows you to spend more time with your thoughts to get emotionally stable and calm. It is an exercise for your mind and can help expand consciousness, develop a connection between inner thoughts, and reduce stress.
Studies show that meditation can increase your brain's alpha waves, which are associated with relaxation. It also affects the areas of your nervous system that control your endocrine system (the parts of your body that balance hormones).
There is more!
Meditation has been proven to alleviate the overall symptoms of menopause, from mood swings, depression and anxiety to body pain, sleeplessness and even hot flashes!
Menopause, mental health, and meditation
Menopause is a normal routine change that happens with the stoppage of menstruation in women, usually after the age of 45. It causes hormonal changes to a woman’s body and can be marked as the end of a woman’s reproductive life. It is caused due to deficiency of oestrogen and is not a pathological change( state of disease).
Along with the physical symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, weight gain, slowed metabolism and other symptoms related to it, menopause changes a woman mentally and emotionally too.
Menopause also affects mental well-being by causing more episodes of anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, loss of concentration, and loss of self-esteem and confidence.
Since this is a transitional phase, there are marked psychological changes, with the most common symptom being depression.
Mood disturbances can also be attributed to the changes or stressful events that occur in life at this phase affecting their social connections.
Hence, menopause can affect women physically, mentally, socially and financially.
Mind-body interventions can reduce menopausal symptoms to a great extent and can be an excellent relaxation technique while helping you escape from the possible side effects of other conventional management methods.
This intervention can help the women to cope with the situation and accept the transitional phase gracefully. Since menopause occurs in later years of life, not all women can perform intensive physical or mental exercises.
Meditation for menopause is a simple practice which can be done in a sitting position, causing less physical exertion but intends to provide high benefits.
Read further to find the answer to the golden question!- How can I start meditating?
Here are a few tips for you to get started!
Choose that time of the day when you know you will have zero disturbances! We suggest the hours of sunrise or sunset as there is a calmness about these hours in themselves! If you are looking for better sleep, then yoga nidra meditation before your sleep would best help you.
A quiet and peaceful surrounding would do the job! But if that is too difficult to find, a place with enough air circulation and light and where you are unlikely to get disturbed would also work.
Be relaxed and sit comfortably. Sit straight with an erect spine and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. Keeping your eyes closed during the entire process is essential. So no peeking, please!
It is always best to meditate with a relatively empty stomach. It is best not to be very hungry or wholly loaded.
‘But aren't warm-ups for exercises, right?’. Yes. You are right, and meditation is the best exercise for your mind. Warm-up exercises before meditation help to improve circulation and help you feel lighter.
Pranayama or breathing exercises always help you to steady your breath and is the first important step to a meditative state.
There are different ways to meditate. It requires concentration, awareness of your body and mind, working on retaining your focus and much more. You can always start with a group meditation like smriti meditation or guided meditation.
Scroll down further and read more about smriti meditation.
As you plan to wind up the meditation session, open your eyes and move your body slowly. Take your own time to become aware of your being and surroundings.
You can always start with ten to twenty minutes for your first time.
Now it is time to get introduced to Smriti meditation!
Smriti meditation is a modified version of the ayurvedic psychotherapy technique. One of the many reasons an ailment can grip you is the inability to control your senses. This aspect is given prime importance in ayurveda. Every disease has a psychosomatic component, ie, the state of your mind affects your body.
Meditation is a way to help get control over our minds and senses.
Smriti meditation is a great way to heal psychosomatic symptoms..
Most of your menopausal symptoms like gastrointestinal discomforts, sleeplessness, hot flashes, anxiety, depression and headache could be due to psychosomatic factors.
‘Smriti meditation identifies the reason behind all these discomforts from an emotional level and helps heal using meditation’ says smriti meditation expert and founder Dr Dilip Kumar.
There is no prior knowledge of yoga poses or pranayama(breathing exercises) or meditation to practice smriti meditation.
Smriti meditation is not something that can be done by yourselves. Expert guidance is mandatory to practice smriti meditation.
Smriti meditation is a great tool to manage lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension etc, as well as identify menopausal symptoms of psychosomatic origin(symptoms due to stress, anxiety or emotional trauma).
Making use of your memory to identify the core point of origin of your issues and managing it with the help of meditation is the crux of ayurvedic psychotherapy.
Smriti meditation is also a great tool to resolve conflicts with your partner, friends or other family members. A study showed that conflict with a spouse is the primary cause of many diseases.
After Smriti meditation, the emotional component of your symptoms or health condition is eliminated, which also prevents the recurrence of these problems in the future!
It is a Chinese form of martial art which is a mind-body technique.
It helps to improve one’s health and well-being. It involves gentle and slow movements of low impact with coordination of breathing and graceful movements.
Tai chi can improve the quality of life in post-menopausal women by perking up the domains of general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health.
Zen meditation is a form of traditional mindfulness that has the least popularity nowadays. It was first introduced in China and is one of the main Buddhist meditations. In this type of meditation, practitioners count their breaths to focus on their attention.
From the viewpoint of safety, satisfaction, implementation and physical, social and psychological health benefits, meditation in menopause has various advantages. Cost-effectiveness and fewer side effects are the key driving factors that lead to the practice of meditation in a broad range of the population. Since low-impact physical actions are involved, they can be safely practised by everyone.
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The effect of meditation techniques can vary from person to person. Choosing the right meditation for the present condition or the type of meditation that is easy to perform is a personal choice. Expert guidance can help one achieve their goal of positive health and assist in resolving existing health issues.
Sitting and meditating for hours is not always necessary to get better results. Meditation connects to one’s deeper inner self, which can happen in a fraction of a second. The quality of meditation can improve with regular and consistent practice and not with longer durations.
Meditation is not a practice of any particular religion. The origin of meditation can be traced back to the historical era. It aims to bring oneness in faith and religion, encouraging people from different castes, backgrounds and religions to find peace in all circumstances without judging one based on religious beliefs.
People think meditation is hard to do and not for everyone. But, everyone meditates knowingly or unknowingly every day. Indulging in any activity with the utmost focus that helps to improve oneself by practice can be considered meditation.
Meditation and hypnotism are antagonistic. In hypnotism, the person is unaware of his /her actions or words, whereas, in meditation, complete awareness is needed at every point. Hypnotism works on the thoughts in one’s mind, whereas meditation sets one free from the thoughts of the mind.
Usually, there is a belief that meditation means concentration. Concentration is the benefit that we gain from practicing meditation.
Meditation can be done by anyone at any time, anywhere.
Just begin with these,
Consistent practice is the key to unveiling the effects of meditation as a beginner.
Whatever the cause of incorporating meditation into one’s life, be it to reduce stress, improve sleep, physical or psychological problems, every meditation is a stepping stone to achieving positive health.
· Do Meditate in a calm environment
· Do take help or guidance whenever needed
· Do try to make it a habit
· Do be patient with yourself
· Do try to do it in the same place at the same time
· Don’t judge yourself
· Don’t worry about distractions
· Don’t compare with others
· Don’t be hard on yourself
· Don’t give up
Still having doubts if meditation is the best option for you? We have tried to clarify some doubts you may have about meditation. Keep scrolling to bust some myths on meditation for menopause.
Our blog article focuses on bringing high-quality, scientifically accurate content and staying true to Ayurveda's principles. All of our articles are written by Licensed Ayurveda professionals after extensive research and are medically reviewed by our Expert Ayurvedic doctors who have over 10+ Years of Experience