On a scale of 1 – 10 how stressed are you?

Go on put a number on it.

Do you have difficulty with sleeping?

Are you anxious and worrying about things beyond your control?

Do you have difficulty remembering things or often feel distracted?

Yes, yes and yes? So pretty stressed then, at least a 7.

You know stress is the no 1 trigger for your menopause symptoms – all of them. The lack of sleep, the anxiety, the brain fog, the sweats, the tears, the mood swings and even your dry, itchy skin.

There’s the internal stress going on from certain types of food and drink and even the way you exercise creates stress as it triggers production of your main stress hormone cortisol.

But actually it’s totally in your control to manage those internal stresses – you can change your eating and your exercise routine anytime.

But what about those external stresses, the ones that seem out of your control. Stuff like too many emails, traffic jams, annoying colleagues, ageing parents, difficult teenagers and the endless social media feed of peoples perfect lives.

How do you control the stress that’s out of your control? Well the answer is you can’t but what you can do is control how you react to it.

You need to teach your mind to control your body’s responses and the easiest way to do that is by breathing.

Yes I know we’re breathing all the time and normally you don’t even think about it- it’s just something you do automatically. But now I’ve mentioned it I bet you’re thinking about it.

So notice that when you breathe in you tense and when you breathe out you relax – there’s a feeling of letting go.

Try it now. Breathe in and feel the tension, breathe out and feel yourself relaxing.

So what you need to do is breathe out for longer than you’re breathing in. Super simple hey?

For 10 minutes each day practice breathing out for longer than you breathe in and it will really help to minimize the underlying stress that’s making your menopause symptoms worse.

The best times to practice are as soon as you wake up or just before you go to sleep or even both.

Eventually this type of breathing will kick in automatically when your stress levels rise during the day and you’ll find it much easier to manage your response and your menopause symptoms.

Try it for 2 weeks and then ask yourself again how stressed am I on a scale of 1 – 10. I promise the number will have gone down.