The Impact of Stress on Your Periods
How to practice slowing down and the art of self-care to be more patient and kind with yourself in the midst of everything going on in your life and in the world.
Women often lead busy, high-pressured (even chaotic) lives, however organized they may be, especially when it comes to raising a family, pursuing a career, starting their own business, or striving for other important goals.
Women can move so fast, and often tell themselves and those around them “I’m FINE!”, that they aren’t even aware of the toll this busyness and pressure has on their lives.
Worse, some women are aware of the negative implications that this level of stress can have on their health, but they don’t know how to stop it.
Short term, stressors can help you be more alert to make changes quickly. But, when left unaddressed, the impact of accumulated stress of a busy lifestyle can lead to health problems - specifically with your menstrual cycles. Add in the uncertainties that come with the COVID-19 pandemic, and other global situations over the past year, and that negative impact becomes exponential.
How does busyness, ongoing pressure, and the stress of a woman’s life impact her menstrual cycle?
Your period is controlled by your hypothalamus, which releases chemicals that stimulate the pituitary gland that in turn signals the ovaries to release estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are vital to your menstrual cycle. When this brain and body system is working at its optimum levels, everything is flowing and in balance. Periods are often easy and effortless.
The stress of the busy, high-pressured lifestyles that so many women lead triggers your body to make the stress hormone cortisol. This stress hormone can cause the estrogen and progesterone hormones to no longer be in balance. In turn, this can cause discomfort and problems with your menstrual cycle resulting in irregular periods and other period-related issues.
Nurturing can be a double-edged sword.
While nurturing is at the core essence of the feminine, taking care of others at the expense of our own selves, and putting the needs of everything else above our own, can turn the positivity of nurturing into a debilitating habit. It can leave us drained, exhausted, and overwhelmed. These stressors can also lead to burnout, resentment and other emotional and mental issues.
As a woman’s body is constantly exposed to this level of stress, more cortisol is secreted, keeping a woman’s health and menstrual cycles out of sorts.
You’ve heard the oxygen mask instructions as explained by flight attendants before take-off? “Put your mask on first before you help the person or child next to you.” The reason is that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you may not even be around to take care of those around you.
The people around you are counting on your help and support. That’s why it’s important to bring ALL of you to relationships, jobs and goals. Not the you that’s sputtering on fumes, exhausted all the time.
It’s important to nurture yourself AS WELL as others.
This is not an either/or scenario, but a both/and approach.
Take care of YOU so you can nurture and take even better care of others.
What is the role that nurturing and self-care plays on having a better period experience?
There is a saying “slowing down to speed up.” Slow is not bad. Slow simply means being intentional in how you move forward rather than being erratic or reactive. The idea behind this saying is that the more intentional you can move through something, the better equipped and prepared you are, and the fewer mistakes you’ll make. The same can be applied in many areas of our life, especially for women. When we can slow down, be more intentional, be more mindful, and be more present; we can take better care of ourselves. Then we can actually help MORE people in BIGGER ways.
The 4 M’s of slowing down:
Here are a few examples of ways to move intentionally and be more patient and kind with yourself as you practice self-care:
Meditation: Keep it simple. Take 3 deep, slow breaths followed by 3 gratitudes. This brings you to the present moment so you can be more deliberate with your next best step. It helps you see things more clearly, and be more creative with the solutions you need to create in your life.
Movement: Keep it simple. Set an alarm to remind you to get up, stretch, take a short walk outside, or move your body in some manner - even if it’s just shoulder rolls or hip circles. While exercise is great, even just simple movement can have positive effects on your body and well-being.
Manage Stress: Keep it simple. Whether it’s conscious breathing exercises, journaling, or chatting with a friend, find easy things you can insert into your schedule that causes you to be present in the moment and interrupt the pattern of busyness.
Mantra: Keep it simple. Create a phrase that serves as a reminder for maintaining a positive perspective and focusing on the slower pace that better serves your body, mind and life and also serves those around you. Use this mantra until you create your own:
“I prioritize taking care of myself so I can take even better care of those around me.”
Repeating this mantra on a regular basis - at least once daily - is how you start to give yourself permission to slow down. It’s a reminder of this being a both/and approach, of telling yourself that you're not ignoring others. You’re taking care of yourself so you can take even better care of them for longer stretches of time, and that helps to build new habits in your life to reduce your stressors and pressures.
The positive ripple effect of self-care can begin to reduce the amount of cortisol your body is secreting, which in turn will allow your hypothalamus and pituitary gland to trigger the right balance of the hormones in your menstrual cycle. When this is operating at optimum levels, your period-related issues can be minimized and often disappear.
Creating new habits in your life is something that typically happens over time. Yet, women want relief from their period-problems sooner. When a woman doesn’t have to be distracted or derailed by issues related to her menstrual cycles, it can be even easier to implement healthy positive changes in her life. That’s why we’ve created the herbal supplement, Perfect Period.®, to support the balancing of women’s hormones for a better period experience.
So, while you’re learning to create new habits, slow down, and take better care of yourself, Perfect Period.® can help you to have a happier, healthier period.
To learn more about Perfect Period.® or buy a bottle,
go to perfectperiod.com today.