15% off £30 OR 20% off £40

000000s
Code:BAG
 

15% off £30 OR 20% off £40

000000s

Code:BAG

🏷️ 3 for 2 Mix & MatchOffersOffers Hub3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceGreat SavingsBuy 1 Get 1 Free1/2 PriceBetter than 1/2 priceIntroductory Offer3 for £3 Mix & MatchLast chance to buyShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionWater RetentionAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthPain ReliefCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesValerianSt John's WortRescue RemedyAgnus CastusAshwagandhaEchinaceaMilk ThistleDevil's ClawGinseng & GuaranaBlack CohoshHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & Supplements3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy 1 Get 1 FreeShort DatedHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicWeledaBioglanBach Original Flower RemediesBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Dairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubFood & Drink Shop AllVegan FoodHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyJams & ChutneysNut ButtersSpreadsPateTeas & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas & Hot BeveragesTeaCoffee & Coffee SubstituteMushroom DrinksDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsCrisps & ChipsFlapjacksPopcornFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsDrinksShop all DrinksKombuchaNatural Energy DrinksJuicesSoft DrinksWaterAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksNutritionally Complete Food3 for 2 Mix & MatchBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettNaturyaHeath & HeatherPukkaGrenadeMeridianTwiningsBionaNakdManuka DoctorGluten FreeDairy FreeEgg FreeWheat FreeMilk FreeSulphites FreeCelery FreeKiwi FreeMustard FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubSports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinClear ProteinWhey ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsEnergy DrinksProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutAmino Energy DrinksAmino Energy PowdersIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersAmino Energy DrinksBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneSports CollagenRehydrationShop all RehydrationElectrolytesEnergy GelsVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 Price3 for 2 Mix & MatchGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDFoodspringSiSHuelYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautyHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual Wellness3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceLast chance to buyDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandSukinMiaromaQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein Bars3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceGreat SavingsOptimum NutritionGrenadeHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDEat WaterApplied NutritionNatures AidNew NordicDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & Relaxation3 for 2 Mix & MatchSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 priceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsWeledaDr OrganicSolgarNaturtintNew NordicOptimum NutritionHeath & HeatherBeurerDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeParfum FreeWheat FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeNew inShop for your WellnessMuscle & Joint PainImmunityGut HealthMenopauseWomen's HealthFood & DietSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthChildren's HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast
older lady thinking with a cup of tea

CBT techniques to cope with menopause

06 Jun 2023 • 9 min read

During the perimenopause you might have symptoms like: Hot flushes, night sweats and poor sleep, heart palpitations, joint pains, anxiety and low mood and brain fog.

These are mostly triggered by declining oestrogen levels throughout your menopause transition. Replacing oestrogen using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can help.¹ However, if you can’t take it or you’d prefer a non-hormonal approach, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques might help you better understand your emotions during this time.

What is CBT?

What is CBT?

CBT is a type of talking therapy based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, what we do, and how our bodies feel are all connected.

There’s growing evidence to suggest that it can help those struggling with the menopause.²

Many symptoms, like hot flushes, can be more troubling depending on your underlying emotions. 

For example, studies have shown that people who feel anxious, frustrated, embarrassed, and stressed tend to experience more hot flushes and night sweats - and these can be more severe.³

Change your thoughts, improve your symptoms

Negative emotions are completely understandable, as menopause symptoms can be difficult.  

The good news is that if you can find ways to change your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs, this in turn may improve your symptoms.

CBT has been shown to be effective in improving emotional and physical symptoms of the menopause including stress, low mood, sleep problems, hot flushes, and night sweats.

It’s recommended in the NICE guidelines for menopause, and studies have shown that CBT can help women have a better quality of life.⁴⁵

Let’s look at some of the techniques…

Technique 1: Breathe

Technique 1: Breathe

Deliberately slowing your breathing can help to calm your nervous system.

Try inhaling deeply for 4 seconds and breathing out for 6 or 7 seconds. It’s more effective if you do it regularly, so keep practising!

Once you feel comfortable with this technique, you can use it when menopause symptoms arise and any time you’re stressed or anxious.

Technique 2: Take the power out of your thoughts

Negative thoughts can set off a chain of events that make symptoms worse.

For example, if you begin to experience symptoms of a hot flush, you may think something like: “Oh no, I’m going to turn red and sweaty - it’s going to be so embarrassing.”

Feeling like this is understandable, but this thought can have its own impact on your body by setting off its “stress response”.

This often involves an increase in heart rate, breathing rate, a dry mouth, palpitations, or a sense of doom. Combine these with the original hot flush symptoms and you’re well on your way to feeling even more distressed and uncomfortable.

Luckily, there’s a technique which helps you to distance yourself from unhelpful thoughts before they cause a problem…

Thought defusion

“Thought defusion” is a strategy from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy that helps to reduce the negative impact of thoughts.

The first step is to notice the thought or feeling you are experiencing. Name it, either in your head or out loud.

Using the hot flush example, you could say: “I’m having the thought that everyone will notice me going red.”

Then to distance yourself even further from the thought, try adding, “I notice that I’m having the thought that everyone will notice me going red.”

It might seem unfamiliar at first, but it can be surprisingly effective at reducing the power of your thoughts. 

Technique 3: Make a night-time plan

Technique 3: Make a night-time plan

Waking up at night is common during the menopause. It can relate to anxiety, night sweats, or urinary symptoms, and sometimes there’s no obvious reason.

Night waking can become a vicious cycle. You might become anxious and frustrated about not being able to sleep, which in turn makes drifting off again even harder! Having a clear step-by-step plan of how to approach night-time awakenings can take the pressure off:

  • If you don’t think you’ll get back to sleep quickly, try cooling your body down. This may involve getting out of bed; perhaps putting bare feet on a cold bathroom floor.

Try to combine this with a breathing exercise (as above) to maximise the calming benefits.

  • If you have night sweats, you may need a change of clothes. Try getting them ready before bedtime.
  • When you return to bed, be aware of negative thoughts which may get in the way of sleep (try the thought defusion technique above).
  • Then, perhaps do some breathing or relaxation exercises while waiting to feel sleepy again.

The goal is to develop an automatic routine that will make night-time awakenings easier to manage: cool down, breathe, notice thoughts, breathe.

Handpicked content: Menopause & sleep: Top tips

The final say

Many CBT techniques can be learned and practiced using the self-help strategies above, but perseverance is key! The more you practise, the easier it becomes.

However, if you continue to struggle with menopause symptoms, please do speak to your doctor so you can explore additional options for treatment and support.  

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2023. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.