Tame Stress, Help Tame PMS
Stress. Who hasn’t felt that jittery, on-edge, anxious, ugly feeling? It seems our busy lives these days manufacture it. Stress cannot only wreak havoc with our emotional lives, but also with our physical health.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed out, you sometimes get your period earlier or later than it’s due? Stress can even make PMS more severe.
Back in 2010 Time Magazine (1) noted a study done by re- searchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, along with re- searchers from other institutions, that showed women who said they felt stress early in their menstrual cycle were more likely to report the cramping, bloating and mood swings of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) later in the month.
What can you do to prevent stress from worsening your PMS and getting the better of you? Here are some simple tips to help you take charge of your health, and say sayonara to your stress.
1. Meditation. If your mind is frequently on overdrive, it makes some sense that your physical body would be too. Meditating is one way to slow down stress in its tracks. It’s a practice best done daily, and while getting used to it can be challenging, doing it is actually quite simple. There are many ways to practice meditation, and experimenting can help you find which works best for you. Here is a comprehensive list of different meditation techniques.
Some people, and in particular, beginners, often like guided meditation, where a speaker talks you through a journey of relaxation. Do an internet search of “guided meditations” and you’ll come up with literally thousands of results. Some are absolutely free, some you can purchase. There are numerous Apps for your phone, too. An interesting app is “Headspace.” It is called “a gym membership for your mind.” By having it right on your phone, you can take it with you anywhere.
You might also be interested in the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness. He offers many guided meditations as well as classes on “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” in various venues world-wide. He is also an author of numerous scientific papers on the clinical applications of mindfulness in medicine and health care, and numerous excellent books for the lay public:
• “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness” (Delta, 1991)
• “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life “(Hyperion, 1994)
• “Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness” (Hyperion, 2005)
•“Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindful- ness” (Hyperion, 2007)
So, take a breath in and a breath out, and check out Mr. Kabat-Zinn for some Zen.
2. Exercise. A simple walk will do it. Exercising doesn’t have to mean bench pressing 100 pounds, or sweating through an hour long ab workout (although it can, if that’s what you love to do). It means doing something physical that you can sustain, and that can be as simple as walking. In fact, this New York Times article features a study that suggests even a gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work. Stop thinking you have to do that hour long spin class to get the stress-busting benefits of exercise, and go take a walk.
3. Eating. When stress strikes, we often want to reach for comfort foods, like chips, chocolate, candy and other carbohydrates. (Walk away from that vending machine). But the truth is we’re actually feeding our stress with those kinds of foods. Instead, try and reach for foods that actually work to de-stress, like green leafy vegetables, turkey breast, oatmeal, blueberries, and pistachios, to name a few. Gobble up this article from Health Magazine featuring some Superfoods, for super stress relief.
Being alive in 2015 means facing stress, but taking care of our bodies with natural remedies like meditation, exercise, and healthy eating, can really help to not only de-stress our lives, but to be able to handle stress more effectively when it comes your way. And that can be good at reducing PMS as well as many other symptoms.
- Posted by holx-admin
- On September 26, 2015