8 Steps for Staying Healthy After 40

8 Midlife Habits to Help You Stay Well In Menopause

Mature woman running on treadmill
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Ten percent of women enter menopause before 46 and perimenopause, that 10 year window leading up to menopause means that there are literally millions of women that are entering a transition that will impact the rest of their life. Many are struggling with personal issues such as food addiction, unhappy relationships, workaholism, being over stressed, over anxious or over weight.

Have internalized beliefs left you worried about whether or not you will remain healthy, desirable, lovable or employable?

If you feel immobilized and stuck or feel your vitality and health slipping away, it doesn't have to be that way. It just requires you to reframe your beliefs so you have more control. Here are my 8 steps to a healthier life after 40.

Permission -- This is step #1 and one of the most challenging. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." What beliefs immobilize you? Why? It is said that people who live in the past feel depressed and those who live in the future feel anxious. What can you do to live in the present -- to experience this moment as a joyous experience? Visualize where you want to be or what you want to happen and move toward that place. Give yourself permission and freedom becomes possible.

Associations -- Author Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones, found that people who socialize live longer, healthier lives. Whether you are spending time with friends or family or in a connected group such as your congregation or other social experience, doing so regularly helps provide beliefs, behaviors and perspectives that are liberating and that contribute to freedom, happiness and longevity.

Stress Reduction -- Stress has been around since the beginning of time. A little of it allows you to prepare for a lecture or a sporting event, avert a car accident or run out of a burning building. But chronic stress is responsible for up to 80 percent of primary care visits to the doctor, only 3 percent actually receive stress management counseling.

Stress and its sidekick, fear, can bind you in your current situation and prevent you from trying new things. The future can be brighter if you simply move toward the light. As Joseph Campbell said, "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." What are you avoiding that could set you free?

Sleep More -- 70 million adults don't get the seven or more hours of sleep each night they need. That leads to poor memory, poor performance on the job, poor family dynamics, falling asleep at the wheel, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and more. If you feel bad and sleepy, you are much less likely to risk doing or seeing things differently. You have to be alert to find and follow the path to new freedom.

Organize -- Is your desk piled high with unfinished tasks? No time to try things differently? Organizing can change that. Clear the piles that clutter your home and office. You may find the unopened letter offering you a new position or the website FreeMenopauseHelp.com with a FREE year's subscription to My Menopause Magazine.

Organizing your day with blocks of time to think of and try new things suddenly opens the door to opportunity.

Vocalize -- Think of this in two ways: 1) Sing. It frees your spirit to move to a new place and 2) Speak what is on your mind. Saying your fears out loud, verbalizing what you want to achieve or where you want to be makes it real and makes it possible.

Exercise -- Poor health and obesity are a type of bondage. You can't do the things you want to do or some of the things that bring you joy. Make exercise a habit, one you do every day. Start with just five minutes daily and work up to 30 or even 60 minutes. Your brain and body will work better and for longer.

Resolve -- As Helen Keller once said, "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties."  

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