Are you suffering from menopause mood swings? Do you fly off the handle at the slightest moment? Are you screaming at the kids, or the grocery clerk, or your co-workers for no really good reason?

Been there, actually still there! But I have found ways to deal with it. I was always a very passive person, not the greatest at standing up for myself. I would not argue bills with companies, I would let them overcharge me, and mutter about it, but not really do anything about it. I hated confrontation, and would not stand up to people unless forced. Being more like my mother, not wanting to cause waves, and keep the peace... until menopause!

Now, I have found some kind of force of nature within myself, that thinks nothing of arguing a bill I feel I was overcharged for, or standing up for myself. That part I actually kind of like, but I could do without feeling hot under the collar while I am doing it, with eyes bugging out and arms flapping! I want these people to realize, I mean business, not that I am some "crazy lady" flapping her arms all over the place, going through the "change".

My husband would actually let me lose on the tax guy, or the "door to door" salesmen that I was not fond of. He got some kind of kick out of it. But I wanted to be taken seriously.

So, I did some research. I did not want to take hormones, so that was settled. I did add 2 cups of soy milk to my day, and that actually got rid of the night hot flashes. But with the mood swings.. (you know the Dr. Jeckle and Dr. Hyde thing?) I found a way to control them.

It was two things we should be doing anyways, but we were getting away with not doing for a good few years.

Exercise and eating regular small healthy meals

Now before you go... boring! These do work. I joined the local Curves gym, and made regular visits on Monday, Wednsday, Friday. On the days in between, I made a point of walking our dogs much further. They thought this was the best thing ever, as before it was a quick walk around the block, because I had a life, and things to do. Now I take the time and "smell the roses" with these walks. I actually write them down as part of my day, on my "to do" list. The family knows, not to interfere with these walks. They just know it helps me stay relaxed, calm and focused.

I then took a look at what I was eating. I got rid of most sugary treats, and saved them for the weekend, rather than cutting them out. I ate lots of veggies and fruits, and good grains, and proteins, and ate something at least every 3 hours. I cut out any real processed meats such as salomi, and cold cuts etc, and went for deli sliced turkey and chicken and lean beef etc.. cut back on salt as well, Salt tends to cause bloating, and feelings of puffiness all over, and this just seems to be worse at menopause, and does not help at all with menopause mood swings. Puffiness tended to cause headaches with me as well, adding to the moodiness. I also tried not to eat after 8pm, so as not to be full of food before bed. I had a soy mocha (hot and frothy!) in the afternoons, and that seems to keep my appetite in check (the protein in soy helps do this). I found after 2 weeks of following my exercise program, my moods were leveling out.

I don't know the science behind any of this, but so far I have discovered on my own, that drinking 2 cups of soy milk a day, in any form. Such as cooked into oatmeal, or as a hot drink later in the day (try heating up a cup of soy milk and adding 1 teaspoon of a good instant coffee, that tastes really nice too!) stopped my night time hot flashes, and getting my body exercising again, and taking the time for some nice walks with my dogs, put me in a better mood, and much better at handling any situation.. I realized, that I needed to take more time for myself, that this menopause stuff was actually forcing me to do this, which was a good thing. (It didn't seem like a good thing at the time!)

When you think about it, we should be getting exercise anyways, and we should eat right, there is no magic bullet here. But I really found a HUGE difference in the way I felt by making these changes, and my menopause mood swings just gradually went away.

I used to feel guilty taking too much time for myself, even with grown children, I always felt I should be doing things for others, but you have to feel right yourself, in order to help others. So, I block out time for my exercise and my walks. I eat the best I can, and I drink soy milk to help with my hot flashes. (studies have shown that soy products help with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes for some people) By getting better nights sleep and good nutrition and exercise, I have lost some weight, and my menopause mood swings, are under control.

But I retained that confidence boost I did get, when I turned into the "crazy lady" as my family called me. I know longer sit there all passive, and let others walk all over me. I have managed to keep the confidence part, and get rid of the mood swings.. So getting your body moving, and feeding it right, does help with that part.

So, there are some good parts to this menopause, as we enter the next phase of life, I now feel great, and am looking forward to it all, and doing more things for myself, we deserve it.

The Wisdom of Menopause (Revised Edition): Creating Physical and Emotional Health During the Change
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This book can help with many of the changes going on in your body.
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause (TM): The Breakthrough Book on Natural Hormone Balance
Amazon Price: $7.99 $4.45 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 5, 2013)
Arming yourself with research is the best way to be more comfortable with the changes with menopause.