What’s making you angry?
We’re all familiar with the, often male, view of PMS – that it turns ordinary, rational women into weepy, angry harridans – but what if PMS isn’t to blame? We take a look at some of the things in your life that might be flicking your angry switch.
While every woman is different, PMS can bring out the inner Hulk in some women. It’s mostly the fault of oestrogen, which rises and falls throughout your cycle. Oestrogen helps create the feel-good hormone serotonin, so when it plunges just before your period starts, it can kick-start a whole heap of irritability and anger.
The cure: Recording your cycle, on a calendar or with an app, can really help you understand where your angry weak-spots are. Most women experience a dip in mood just before their period so knowing this is coming can at least help you understand why you’re feeling so darn shouty.
Who isn’t stressed these days? However, when stress becomes too much, it can show up as irritation, moodiness and generally feeling agitated. You may also have difficulty relaxing and so therefore not sleep so well and so the anger cycle starts again.
The cure: Yoga and meditation are great stress relievers, but even a short walk outside regularly can help break down the stress barriers. If you have a particular worry, talk to someone about it. A lot of stress-related issues are because people are struggling on alone. Make time to chat regularly with friends and family about what’s bothering you.
Lack of sleep
Disrupted sleep not only makes you feel tired, but it also affects your concentration and can make you irritable. The Great British Sleep Survey discovered that those people who don’t sleep well, were twice as likely to have a bad mood as those who get an uninterrupted 7 hours.
The cure: Create a bedtime routine. Chomp on a banana or drink a glass of milk just before bed as they contain sleep-inducing tryptophan. Switch off all gadgets a good half an hour before you go to bed – instead wind down with a good book. Try to keep bedtime to the same time most nights, and for a final flourish, spritz your pillow with a spray like this works deep sleep pillow spray, £16, which calms nerves and aids sleep.
>> Related article: 7 tips for instant calm
Most people think of depression as feeling really low all the time, however, one symptom of depression can also be anger. Some people with depression have a low tolerance level and a short temper, finding everything gets on their nerves, which then makes it easier for them to explode.
The cure: If you think depression could be at the root of your anger, make an appointment with your GP. Whether through talking therapies or by taking anti-depressants, depression is treatable but you do need to ask for help. For more information, visit the Mind website.
If you’re suffering from pain, whether it’s a bad back or toothache, chances are you’re going to be a bit grumpy. Period pain can also have this affect.
The cure: Make sure you’re managing your pain as well as you can. If you feel you need more than just over-the-counter remedies, a chat with your GP is advisable. Alternative therapies such as homeopathy and acupuncture are also a good choice. For period pain, try sipping on ginger or chamomile tea or using a good old-fashioned hot water bottle.
Lack of zinc
Your angry reactions could be a signal that you’re low on zinc. Zinc has an important role in processes relating to the brain, including those that help to regulate mood. A very small study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who were given a daily dose of the mineral experienced a reduction in irritability and depression.
The cure: Up your zinc intake. In the study, the women were given 7mg a day of zinc, but if you don’t want to pop a pill, you can try eating zinc-rich foods such as beef, lamb, oysters, spinach, mushrooms and cashew nuts. For some delicious inspiration, check out our some recipes on our Pinterest page.