Stuck in Menopause’s Traffic Jam? Menopause & Your Mood

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: August 15, 2014

Approximately 6,000 women enter menopause every day in the United States and many of them are experiencing hormonal havoc which cause intense emotions during menopause.

Many women have distressing menopausal symptoms such as irritability, frequent crying, sleep problems, fatigue, decreased concentration which can lead to emotional ups and downs.

There is an association between our fluctuating hormone levels at menopause and our moods.
One minute you may feel that everything is fine, and the next minute you might feel gloomy.  Even the most positive and upbeat woman can be affected by mood swings which take them by surprise.

Mood swings may be caused by hormone imbalances, but other various external stressors also increase our likelihood of having mood swings.
Our erratic and confusing behavior while having mood swings also make it difficult dealing with family and personal relationships at home and at work.

Unfortunately, the longer the perimenopause (time when entering menopause), and the more severe we have unrelieved menopause symptoms, the more likely mood swings occur. One positive thing to keep in mind is, irritability and mood swings seem to blow over after you are menopausal, if you can put up with yourself for that long.

There are many causes of mood swings besides hormonal fluctuations.
These may include: untreated hot flashes and night sweats; physical ailments; unresolved psychological conflicts; hypothyroidism; side effects from medications; social and personal changes in your life; stressful life events, and others.
So, it’s best to talk to your doctor about the emotional issues and challenges you are encountering at menopause.

So what’s a girl to do for managing those unexpected mood swings? 
Here are some simple tips and techniques for handling mood swings while you are in the throes of menopause:

  1. Rule out any physical illness that may be causing mood problems.
  2. Ask your doctor about solutions to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
  3. Identify stressors which might be contributing to mood swings and seek ways to resolve them.
  4. Tweak your attitude and visualize happy and peaceful thoughts.
  5. Regular exercise can help improve your ability to cope with stress.  Physical activity helps your body to release endorphins, substances that naturally elevate your mood.
  6. Go outdoors.  Natural light raises levels of serotonin in your brain and helps regulate moods.
  7. Practice yoga which can lift your mood and produces greater calmness.
  8. Get a massage for relaxation.
  9. Limit alcohol consumption as it is a depressant.
  10. Have fun regularly!
  11. Keep a sense of humor – keep a twinkle in those wrinkles. Laughter can build your immune system as well as release those feel good endorphins.
  12. Take a look at your diet and eat healthy meals each day.
  13. Practice deep-breathing exercises which have a calming effect.
  14. Aromatherapy such as lavender or eucalyptus helps some women feel relaxed.
  15. Be involved regularly in a social network. Friends can make you laugh, and uplift your spirits.
  16. Join a support group of other women who are dealing with similar symptoms.
  17. Talk to your doctor about reviewing all options for your symptom relief of mood swings. There’s variety of treatment options, as well as a variety of combinations that might be helpful in treating your mood swings. Both medication and psychotherapy can be extremely helpful.
    The foundation for improving mood swings includes eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, learning how to better manage stress and increasing pleasurable activity in your life can make a big difference in your mood.