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Could you period be making you anxious?

Period stuff / posted 2 years ago / Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Could you period be making you anxious?

Do you ever find yourself having a really anxious moment and not understanding why? It could be that your period is causing your anxiety levels to rise. Here’s why…

As with any symptom of PMS, anxiety can be brought on by the change in your hormone levels. The rise and fall of oestrogen and progesterone can create anxiety issues including tension headaches, palpitations, upset tummies and even panic attacks.

A dip in progesterone is especially difficult for some women as this is known as a calming hormone so without it, anxiety can increase leading to feelings of stress and panic around the time of their period.

Some studies have also found that prior to a period starting, there is a rise in cortisol – the stress hormone. Stress can make anxiety worse so the release of this hormone into your body can start making you feel much more anxious than normal.

Some anxiety however may have nothing to do with hormones. If you suffer from particularly painful periods for example, you may start dreading them, which in turn can create anxiety.

If you have an anxiety disorder, you’ll probably find your symptoms worsen just before and during your period so it may make sense to discuss this with your doctor and change your medication around this time.

How to feel less anxious

  • Meditation: If you feel very anxious, a spot of meditation can really help. Sit in a quiet spot for 5 minutes or so and concentrate on your breath, pushing any negative thoughts away. If your new to meditation, download the Headspace app, which contains lots of useful meditation tips you can follow anywhere.
  • Write it down: Bottling up how you feel can make you feel even more anxious. Writing all your thoughts and feelings down allows you get your emotions out.
  • Exercise: There have been several studies, which have linked cardio workouts with getting a handle on anxiety symptoms. Even if you don’t feel like a 10 mile jog, going for a walk or dancing round your living room can take the edge of any anxious thoughts.
  • Talk to someone: It’s true that a problem shared is a problem halved. Whether it’s a friend or a professional therapist, talking to someone about your anxious feelings can make them feel less overwhelming.
  • Medication: If you’ve tried everything but still feel extremely anxious, it may be worth talking to your GP. They can prescribe low dosage anti-depressants, which can help relieve anxiety.
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