Anxiety is a feeling that all of us go through from time to time, especially in reaction to stressful events. While some anxiety is definitely necessary and natural, it can become damaging if it gets out of hand. However, changes in the stasis of the body can also lead to anxiety, or exacerbate already existing anxiety. Women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder when compared to men because of their hormonal differences and differences in brain chemistry. This can make women more anxious than usual around the time of their period. Everybody experiences their period differently, and not everyone experiences physical and emotional discomfort during their PMS cycle. However, when PMS is bad, it can be really bad. While there is already physical discomfort, such as painful cramps, migraines and headaches, the emotional changes can also take a toll on overall well-being.
One of the main reasons for this change in emotional states is because of a spike in cortisol production just before a woman has her period. Cortisol is essentially the “stress” hormone, and stress can make symptoms of anxiety worse. Moreover, anxiety is a form of prolonged stress, and a spike in cortisol makes any existing stress worse. However, an increase in cortisol triggers a very short period of anxiety during PMS, with anxiety levels relatively low throughout the month. It is likely that the woman feels the most anxious only around the time of her period, and have lower levels of anxiety for most of the time.
Sometimes, the spike in cortisol can trigger acute anxiety that can sometimes disrupt normal functioning. If a woman a is suffering from severe stress beforehand, she can be affected quite significantly during her PMS cycle. The stress leads to severe PMS anxiety, which in turn affects the intensity of the stress. This cycle can be very uncomfortable, and can sometimes become too much to handle. Sometimes, this might lead to women becomes stressed by an upcoming period cycle, and this can become its own form of anxiety. This can also be difficult to deal with.
How To Reduce PMS Anxiety
PMS anxiety can be reduced in a number of ways. A change in diet is important, as is making sure that the PMS symptoms are also tackled. Finding ways to healthily deal with stress and anxiety is also an effective way to tackle PMS anxiety. A change in diet includes adding more calcium, vitamin E, Tryptophan and magnesium in the diet. Foods that contain tryptophan include cheese, pineapples, tofu, eggs, salmon, turkey and salmon. Foods that have great sources of magnesium include spinach, chard, yogurt, almonds and black beans. Calcium can be found in dairy products, as well as in leafy greens, beans and lentils, almonds, seeds and sardines. Foods that are rich in vitamin E are avocados, sweet potatoes. butternut squash and pumpkin seeds.
Regulating hormones is an important factor, and if your cycle is irregular or comes with a lot of physical discomfort, it could be due to a hormonal imbalance. One of the most effective ways of regulating your hormones is through contraceptive pills. They not only regulate your periods, but can also significantly reduce the discomfort of PMS symptoms like bloating, cramps and back pain. Over the counter pain killers can also help to reduce uncomfortable PMS symptoms.
Stress reduction techniques are one of the best ways to deal with PMS anxiety if you don’t want to depend on medications. Mindfulness is reported to be on one of the most effective treatments for people coping with stress and anxiety. Being in the present and looking at thoughts in a non judgmental manner are the core values of mindfulness, and this perspective can significantly reduce stress levels. Exercise is also one of the most effective strategies for coping with stress. Not only does exercise reduce anxiety, it also promotes excellent physical and mental health.