Anxiety and the menstrual cycle.

Do you ever feel like there are some days when anxiety will sometimes spring up and attack you and it’s harder than usual to defeat it?

If you were to track your anxiety you might likely find that the increased times follow a somewhat monthly pattern. While this may sound strange, anxiety, along with a lot of other symptoms, can rise and fall with the hormonal changes of your period!

It all has to do with your menstrual cycle.

The Menstrual Cycle phases:

To understand your period symptoms, it’s important for you to know the different phases of your cycle, and how they play into your emotions. You may be surprised to learn that your menstrual cycle is not just one week of blood flow. It is a complex, month-long cycle that includes four main phases. As you learn how your cycle flows and how your body responds, you will be able to understand your emotions in a whole new way, which is so helpful in managing anxiety.

Menstruation Phase

During menstruation, your progesterone decreases, which causes the uterus lining to shed. This is sometimes known as the “Winter” phase of your cycle, which makes sense because your energy is low and all you probably want to do is curl up inside with a blanket and a cup of tea. This phase is a great time to process, think, and invest in yourself a little. Do things that make you feel cozy and happy, whether that be binge-watching Gilmore Girls or reading your favorite book.

Follicular Phase

Yay, the winter is over! Your body will start to experience a rise in testosterone and estrogen, so you’ll probably feel some extra energy and positive thoughts will start to flow! This phase – we’ll call it “Spring” – is a great time to get lots of work done, and complete social activities while you have the energy! During this phase, the Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH is also rising to prepare your uterus for a new potential-pregnancy.

Ovulatory Phase

Ah, ovulation… the “Summer” of the month! Expect maximum energy and confidence because your estrogen and testosterone levels have been rising to this point! This is a great time to act on all of your winter planning, schedule meetings, flirt with your guy… and have some fun! Because as soon ovulation occurs, your energy will start to slow down again and the cozy mood will take over!

Luteal Phase

Assuming that a pregnancy did not occur after ovulation, the next phase is your Luteal Phase… or “autumn.” This phase can involve some bloating, cravings, and, yep… anxiety. What you can do, though, is focus on eating healthy foods, grabbing an herbal tea instead of a sugar and caffeine packed latte, and get as much sleep as possible. If that anxiety rises, take the opportunity to remind yourself that this is a phase and it’s okay to feel a little low. It can be comforting to know that your hormones are speaking, and allow them to tell you to take it easy and chill. There’s nothing wrong with stepping back from high-impact activities and social engagements a little when your energy is low.

Just a note…

While your menstrual cycle can impact the level of anxiety you experience, there can sometimes be a much deeper cause, that begins in your heart. We want to encourage you to seek out counseling, surround yourself with encouraging people, and hold fast to your faith. Anxiety is a real thing, but so are love, joy, and life! Take care of yourself, seek out help, and let us know if there’s anything we can do to encourage you during this season because we’ve been there too!

Do you notice anxiety rising during certain phases of your period? Let us know your thoughts!

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