Transitioning into Menopause is already difficult. With the night sweats, hot flashes, and hormonal changes, it's easy to see why it represents such a major milestone in a woman's life, and one that is often troubling for otherwise emotionally healthy women.
When menopause gives you anxiety it can be even more troubling. That's because anxiety has a tendency to make menopausal symptoms worse. Several studies have shown that anxiety increases the frequency and severity of hot flashes, and the anxiety itself often interferes with your ability to find happiness after menopause.
So for those that are going through menopause and experiencing a high degree of anxiety, here are several anxiety reduction strategies that should help with the transition:
Strategies to Reduce Anxiety in Menopausal Women
Exercise
It may be a simple strategy, but exercise is so important – especially as you go through menopause. Exercise regulates hormones. It creates endorphins (good mood/relaxation neurotransmitters). It uses up cortisol (stress hormones). It improves hormone regulation. All of these are proven, scientific benefits of exercise on anxiety. It's easy to overlook exercise since most people say they're going to start and never do, but exercise is genuinely one of the best possible ways to cope with anxiety, and help with menopause as well.
• Pre-Sleep Journal
Anxiety tends to be at its worst when you are getting ready to sleep, and a lack of sleep is also responsible for an increase in menopausal symptoms. Since many women going through menopause already suffer from sleep problems this can be an even bigger problem. That's why you should try a pre-sleep journal.
Your brain has a tendency to keep you awake when it wants you to remember something. It's one of the weird quirks that the brain has, and when you have anxiety you often have things you want to remember/are worried about. Your brain also has a tendency to not worry about creating memories when it knows that the information is available somewhere. It's why it's difficult to remember everything you've ever Googled.
That's where a pre-sleep journal comes in handy. Whenever you find anxiety keeping you awake, write down your worries – and any other thoughts – in a journal. That journal will reduce the pressure these thoughts have on your mind and do a great job helping you fall asleep.
• Support Groups
One of the issues that many women have is going through menopause all on your own. Your family is not going through menopause with you, and chances are your friends are not in the process of going through it themselves (or went through it already). The solution is to join or create a support group for menopausal women. Know that you have social support, and being able to share your experiences with others can be immensely liberating – far better than having others (including me) telling you what the experience is like. This way, if you have any anxieties about the menopause itself, you have others that are sharing in your experiences.
Relaxation Techniques
There are also relaxation exercises that can be a tremendous help when you're feeling stressed. The easiest, and perhaps one of the best, is known as deep breathing. Sit in a chair with your back straight and breathe in slowly through your nose. Try to inhale through your stomach, rather than your chest. Hold your breath for 1 or 2 seconds, then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this 10 to 20 times. These types of relaxation strategies can be used at any moment when you're feeling anxiety, and are a useful way to calm down when you're feeling stress.
Anxiety Reduction and Menopause
There's no anxiety cure, just as there's no cure for menopause. But since anxiety exacerbates menopause and hurts your quality of life, coping with anxiety becomes an important part of the breathing process. The above strategies, combined with traditional anxiety reduction techniques like counseling, should be strongly considered if you experience anxiety while you're going through menopause.

Author's Bio: 

Ryan Rivera has provided advice to countless people going through life transitions, and continues to write about anxiety at www.calmclinic.com.