“Why Am I So Emotional During My Period?” | How Periods Affect Your Mental Health
As a woman, there are days in my life when I feel tired of everything. It won’t come as a surprise if I say that these are the days when my monthly menstrual cycle begins. For many women, their monthly menstrual cycle is not just about physical changes, but also about emotional ones. A woman can rarely go through her monthly cycle unscathed.
It’s not a period I, nor other women, look forward to (and yes, pun intended). It’s somewhat of a ritual to experience period blues or depression, anxiety, excessive worries, and moody before, during, and after periods. And all the blame lies on a woman’s hormonal fluctuations.
During periods, hormone levels rise and fall, and this fluctuation can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle. This phenomenon is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, these fluctuations can occur during and post periods as well.
Today, I’m here to explain the effects of PMS on your mental health and why women feel so emotional during their periods. Keep reading to learn tips and tricks to manage your emotional symptoms during your periods.
PMS Symptoms to Watch Out For
When a woman feels emotional on her period, more often than not, the culprit is her fluctuating hormonal levels. When a woman is going through her menstrual cycle, here are the common symptoms she may experience.
- Excessive crying
- Feeling intense anxiety
- Experiencing mood swings
- Feeling irritable
- Being low on energy
- Experiencing low mood
- Changes in appetite
- Craving food
- Wanting to withdraw from social interactions
- Changes in libido
- Experiencing insomnia or other sleep issues
- Lower back pain
- Stomach cramps
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Excessive fatigue
- Headaches and migraines
The Link Between Menstrual Cycle And Hormonal Changes
First, to understand the link between emotional breakdown and periods, we need to understand the hormonal changes that occur during periods. The menstrual cycle involves a complex play of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that regulate body functions.
During periods or menstrual cycles, these hormones fluctuate. In the first half of the menstrual cycle (known as the follicular phase) the estrogen levels increase. Estrogen is a hormone that is most commonly associated with positive emotions, energy, and an increase in serotonin levels. Any fluctuations in estrogen levels can affect these functions and ultimately, a woman’s emotional state.
During the second half of the menstrual cycle (known as the luteal phase) progesterone levels increase. Progesterone is a hormone that can bring a sedating effect on the body, causing fatigue, irritability, and emotional sensitivity.
When estrogen and progesterone levels decrease before a woman’s menstrual cycle begins, it can cause emotional sensitivity and make a woman more prone to emotional symptoms and emotional breakdown. These hormones are also closely linked with serotonin activity in our bodies, so when these hormones fluctuate, they can impact serotonin levels, leading to mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
How PMS Can Affect Emotional And Mental Well-Being
PMS and your mental health are intrinsically linked with one another. Hormonal fluctuations in your body can cause severe mood swings during the premenstrual stage. This can cause a rollercoaster of emotions and you may experience sadness, irritability, anxiety, and anger. If you’re wondering, “Why do I get angry when on my period?” Well, here’s your answer!
Other than that, hormonal changes that happen during your periods can also make you sensitive to emotions and you may find yourself easily affected by criticism, stress, and other triggering situations. More often than not, the emotional reactions that happen during periods are stronger and more intense than what you may experience normally.
PMS can also cause you to experience anxiety and depression. If you’re already living with depression or an anxiety disorder, then periods can worsen the symptoms. The hormonal changes your body goes through can disrupt neurotransmitter activity in the brain, directly affecting serotonin levels and increasing mood disorders.
It is also believed that other than physical discomfort such as pain and fatigue that often accompanies PMS symptoms, a woman may also experience an increase in emotional vulnerability. When you feel fatigued, it can impact your emotional resilience, making you more susceptible to feeling overwhelmed and emotionally fragile.
How to Manage Emotional Symptoms During Periods?
If you’re a female or a loved one who’s wondering why women get so emotional on their periods, then I hope this blog helped you get your answers. Now, if you’re wondering how to manage emotional symptoms during periods, then here are some ways to help you;
Focus on self-care
To manage the emotional symptoms of PMS, you can try to focus on self-care. Try engaging in activities such as sleeping at least 7–8 hours at night, taking a warm bath, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, etc., and eating right. Focusing on caring for yourself can help you reduce some of the symptoms of PMS.
Reach out to your support system
If you feel like you’re having an emotional breakdown during periods, then you can reach out to your support system for help. Friends, family, or a support group can provide you with a safe space to discuss your feelings and experiences without fearing judgment. Sharing your emotions with people who understand what you’re feeling can give you a sense of comfort and emotional validation.
Try stress management techniques
You can also incorporate stress management techniques into your routine when you’re on your periods. These strategies can include gentle movement exercises like yoga, meditation, journaling, and engaging in hobbies that make you feel light and happy and promote a sense of self-expression.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
If you’re emotional during your periods, then you can try adopting a healthy lifestyle. Try to minimize your caffeine consumption and alcohol intake. These substances can worsen your emotional symptoms so avoid them as much as you can. Try to focus on eating a well-balanced diet and staying hydrated.
Seek professional advice and support
If your emotional symptoms of PMS are interfering with your daily life and making you feel worse than usual, then you can seek professional help and advice. Mental health professionals can help you guide and recommend self-soothing strategies to manage your emotional breakdown and symptoms during periods.
Feeling emotional during periods is one of the most common experiences for women. These emotional symptoms a woman experiences during her menstrual cycle can affect their mental and emotional health significantly. More often than not, the cause of emotional breakdown during periods is hormonal fluctuations that occur during the menstrual phases.
By understanding the link between hormonal changes and emotions, you can learn to manage your emotions during periods. Exercises such as yoga, meditation, journaling, and other stress management strategies can help you mitigate the emotional symptoms of PMS.
With the right support and knowledge, you can manage your emotional and mental well-being during your periods and improve your well-being.
I hope this blog helped you understand why you get so emotional during your period and how to manage the symptoms of PMS. You can share your thoughts on the article in the comments below or share your views at email@example.com.