Gratitude and Menopause
Practicing gratitude during menopause might not be what you would expect as a natural strategy. But don’t be too quick to discount this idea. The mental and physical benefits might surprise you. Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. But practice gratitude now? You might say, “I feel so crappy! Mood swings, night sweats, anxiety, weight gain and more. I’m supposed to be grateful now?!” Well, yes. And here’s why.
Gratitude Has Perks!
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience a lot of great stuff! For example,
- more positive emotions,
- better sleep,
- balanced hormones,
- greater compassion and kindness,
- and even stronger immune systems.
Here’s how Harvard Medical School describes gratitude: “A thankful appreciation for what an individual received, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives…As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature or a higher power.“
Episode Breakdown (Jump to a particular section of the podcast if you want!)
(1:35) Gratitude releases those “feel good” hormones which in turn help your other hormones.
(1:47) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Concept – menopause is our self-actualization stage and why that’s important for our health.
(2:40) Is it human nature to look at the things we don’t have vs. what we do have? People and relationships now become more important.
(4:01) Dr. Robert Emmons research – gratitude in two stages (acknowledgement and finding sources outside the self – “other directed”).
(5:35) Rhonda shares perspective on gratitude from her experience in emergency, ICU, and trauma medical settings as well as during last 20 years supporting menopausal women.
(6:35) The healing benefits of gratitude even during times of great loss. Sometimes during the worst times graces comes out the most.
(7:10) Gratitude effects the very cells of your body which in turn, benefits overall health.
(7:30) Studies show that grateful people are more agreeable, more open, and less neurotic.
(8:15) Menopause symptoms are real and consider making gratitude a habit or a strategy to help cope during more difficult times.
(9:03) What Rhonda knows for sure about gratitude and the menopause experience related to hormone balance.
(9:36) Rhonda’s gratitude prescription: A Gratitude Journal (writing down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for each day.)
(10:25) The chemistry of writing things down and why this act is important.
(11:13) No pity parties here! Instead realize the importance of self-care.
(12:00) Why volunteering might be a good option to explore. (13:00) Don’t let the simplicity of this idea stop you from trying it. The impact will be huge.
(13:37) Other gratitude ideas to try: gratitude jar.
(14:39) The lost art of writing thank you notes – a two way feel good benefit!
(16:16) We are THANKFUL for our podcast listeners and website visitors!