This blog post looks at how your thoughts can influence the impact a hot flush can have.
- Shame or social embarrassment – this causes thoughts such as “I’m over the hill” or “Everyone is looking at me”.
- Feeling out of control – this causes thoughts such as “My body is letting me down” or “There is nothing I can do about this”.
- Catastrophic thinking – this causes thoughts such as “This is awful and will never get any better”.
As you can see, these are some quite powerful thoughts!
The way you think about symptoms in some situations tends to affect how you feel and what you do. These reactions can increase the intensity of your physiological symptoms.
Obviously when you feel anxious and your breathing increases, you can often feel sweaty too. Can you see how this all adds up to fuelling hot flushes and making them feel worse??
What can you do?
- What would I say to a friend in this situation?
- Have I managed a similar situation in the past?
- Is there a clear threat right now?
Think about your responses in these situations
- drinking more alcohol than usual
- avoiding certain people
- avoiding places where you might have had a negative experience
- carrying certain things with you such as a bottle of water or mints (this was mine!)
The aim is to then develop more healthy coping strategies. This means thinking about things you can do to stay calm. This can be used in the moment. However, it is also helpful to get into the habit of practising some regular relaxation stuff as this will help to manage your general stress levels but also make it easier for you to snap into what you need in a moment of worry or stress.