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The Link Between Menopause and Anxiety

23% of women experience anxiety, compared to 14% of men.
43.5% of people experience mild anxiety, 33.7% moderate, and 22.8% severe anxiety.
More than 31% of Americans will experience anxiety at some point during their lifetime.

Anxiety IS more common in menopause, and more common in women - double trouble, but why is that, and what can we do about it?

Defining Anxiety

Anxiety is the feeling you get when you’re worried or scared about something. It is a natural, human feeling of fear or panic. Afterwards, we usually calm down and feel better. Small amounts of worry and fear can help keep us safe and even protect us from danger. But, sometimes anxiety can make us feel like things are worse than they actually are and can feel overwhelming. Constant worry can lead to prolonged anxiety.

If anxiety is preventing you from doing things you enjoy or you feel worried or panicky in a situation that is not stressful, then it’s important to look for solutions. Anxiety disorders result in loss of jobs, wages, family, friends, sense of self and it affects more women than men.

What Causes Anxiety?

It can be hard to pinpoint the exact causes of anxiety. When we face stressful situations, alarm bells go off in our brain telling us something isn’t right and that we need to deal with it. To make the difficult situation go away, our brain makes us more alert, stops us from thinking about other things and even pumps more blood to our legs to help us run away. This is all part of the stress response. But, when stress chemicals hijack the brain over and over, the brain sends a constant cocktail of chemicals driving different fear messages:

  • During panic attacks the fear is of imminent death
  • In social phobia the fear is of embarrassment
  • In post-traumatic stress disorder, the traumatic memory is remembered or experienced
  • In obsessive-compulsive disorder, obsessional ideas recur and intrude
  • In generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety is free-floating

To read more in-depth stress, check out this blog on stress!

Oh My GAD...

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common category with 20% of adults experiencing this at some point in their lifetime. This looks like:


The Chemicals of Calm

While hormone imbalance and busy lives do play into this, there can be more to it than adding back in some hormones and meditating. Our brains are flexible, and an overactive stress response works to rewire the brain to over-fire the stress response. Stress chemicals can get stuck in the ON position. This is where anxiety can develop.

The good news is that because the brain is flexible, and it’s possible to rewire it again, to turn off the overactive stress response. It does take some time, but it can be done. What are some of the tools that can help with this (and are all in our bestselling Chaos Calmer Cream)?

L-Theanine - Most of L-theanines effects have to do with promoting relaxation and positively affecting mood.

  • L-theanine affects alpha waves in the Brain. Alpha waves are the brain waves associated with the state of waking relaxation. They reach their highest levels when a person is awake, relaxed, and has their eyes shut, but disappear when drowsiness or sleep commences. L-theanine has been shown to stimulate the brain’s alpha waves, helping the brain to a relaxed state without ultimately causing them to fall asleep.
  • Increases Dopamine Levels. Dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter and a lack of it can drive people into addictive behaviors to get it. L-theanine produces low enough levels of dopamine that has not been shown to produce “seeking” or addicted behavior.
  • Increases GABA (Gamma-Amino-Butyric Acid) levels. GABA has the effect of slowing neural processes and inducing a state of relaxation.
  • Can Increase Serotonin Levels In some circumstances may increase levels of the “happy” chemical serotonin. Mood enhancement may limit anxiety by promoting positive thinking and discouraging obsessive negative thoughts.

Magnesium - An essential mineral, it is used by cells throughout the body. Many people are critically low in magnesium.

  • Magnesium is important for energy production, which is why low levels of magnesium can make us feel tired and weak.
  • Magnesium blocks the activity of more stimulating neurotransmitters and binds to calming receptors, resulting in a more peaceful, resting state.
  • Magnesium helps to regulate the release of stress hormones like cortisol, acting like the brake on your body’s nervous system.

GABA - GABA is made and used in the brain and is critical for tuning down the sound on the stress chemicals in the brain. GABA is also utilized in the muscles throughout the body and in the gut. We know we feel anxiety and stress in our gut – think of the gut upset we can get when we live with anxiety.

To read more about the Chemicals of Calm, check out this in-depth brain blog!

Chaos Calming Clarity

Parlor Games makes Chaos Calmer a fast-acting cream with all three of these ingredients. Using Chaos Calmer can reduce and even remove those anxious feelings when your body feels like it is jumping all over in the inside. We have customers who work in high pressure jobs and Chaos Calmer helps them stay calm and focused. We have other customers who want to stop the cycle of anxiety and so use Chaos Calmer while they make some of the lifestyle adjustments that will gradually rewire their brain patterns, so they are less reactive.

If anxiety has you in its hot sticky paws, now you know that you don’t have to put up with that, you can rewire those patterns in your brain and get back to playfulness, calm, serenity.