At midlife we often feel invisible, many of us start to feel unattractive, a feeling not helped by the attitude of many men that we are now just ‘women of a certain age’.
It’s about how you feel about yourself and whether your ‘lamp’ is switched on as to how attractive you appear. If you feel well, healthy and are in good shape it will show up in your skin, hair and nails, there will be a spring in your step and that old sparkle in your eyes will be alive and well. But if you let yourself go physically as well as mentally, then menopause can feel like the beginning of the end, instead of a bright new beginning. But the good news is if you have lost your grip along the way, you can reframe your attitudes and get back to being your old self or even better.
Changing your attitude
Our attitudes are affected in various ways as we enter midlife. They can be broken down into the messages and attitudes that come from within us, and those that come from the world around us.
Attitudes can be positive and negative. Some of us are delighted that our periods have stopped and are happy to grow older gracefully, while others are horrified by the process, mourning the loss of their reproductive years and worrying that ‘it’s all downhill from here’. Many are affected by the advertising and media coverage they see on a daily basis, which mostly sends the message that young and beautiful women are much more valuable in our society than those who are older and wiser.
One of our surveys revealed that although 80% of women surveyed were delighted their periods had stopped, 40% were anxious and afraid of their physical appearance, 37% felt that menopause signalled the start of old age, and a worrying 17% thought their partner would prefer a younger woman!
These results make depressing reading, but most of them can be termed as ‘crooked’ thinking because, once the physical symptoms of menopause have been overcome and fatigue is no longer an issue, the midlife years can be an enormously positive phase in your life. They should be seen not so much as the death of the reproductive years, but as the beginning or rebirth of a whole new you. Ideally, you need to spend less time hanging around the fountain of youth and more time bathing in the waters of wisdom!
How do you see yourself?
To find out where you stand in the self-worth stakes, answer Yes or No to each question below (as honestly as you can!)
If you answered yes to more than three questions, it’s time to change your attitudes and start feeling good about yourself again.
Work out your priorities at this time of your life - Find time to get know yourself again.
- Now's the time to work out your priorities in life
- Be future positive
- Make yourself proud
- Live your dream
Be future positive
Being optimistic about the future is more likely to bring results than thinking about how good things were. If your thoughts are veering towards the negative, try some some positive thinking when you wake up and before you go to sleep at night. Form a vivid picture in your mind of your happy, attractive self going through the rest of life being incredibly positive and start looking at things through these positive eyes. You’ll feel so much better about life!
Spend time imagining yourself in great physical and mental shape, looking and feeling great with good things happening to you.
Make yourself proud
It’s easy to go from one day to the next without considering the needs of others. The rewards that come from helping make other people’s lives more pleasant are priceless. Team up with a friend who is also going through menopause and you can give each other help and encouragement. You’ll be surprised how much of a buzz it will give you. It can also help to know that you’re not alone and that other women are going through menopause as well.
Live your dream
You won’t realise your dreams without making an effort. Evidence shows you can get what you wish for by applying specific techniques. Positive thinking and visualisation can go a long way to getting you where you would like to be and helping you change your attitudes.
Take five or ten minutes out each day to visualise yourself the way you would like to be. Experts believe the best time for this is the first thing in the morning and last thing at night, so start and finish your day visualising yourself just the way you would like to be - happy, fulfilled, looking forward to good things in the future or whatever takes your fancy.
As well as visualising, make a collage of your dream with clippings from magazines to help focus on your goals. This is a fun activity that allows you to create your life the way you want it and design your dreams.
Remember that there is a great deal of good living to be enjoyed in this new and exciting phase of your life, but you have to recognise that you are the architect of your life, not a victim of circumstances.