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7 Things Making Your Period Worse

7 Things Making Your Period Worse

As Karen Quan once said, “Push my buttons, and I’ll push you off a bridge.”

For many women, it’s the darkest time of the month. According to new research, many overlooked habits could be making your period worse, from caffeine and alcohol to work anxiety. However, thanks to a recent study, figuring out which habits are making your period worse just got easier.

According to Glamour, Mental Daily, an online psychology magazine, surveyed 2,000 young women between the ages of 18 and 29 to find out which habits made menstruation more painful. Utilizing Facebook ads and Survey Monkey, Mental Daily was able to determine that work anxiety, caffeine, and smoking were the biggest contributing factors affecting participants’ menstruation.

The researchers over at Mental Daily revealed a lot about how bad habits can significantly affect menstruation — enough for me to compile a list of the worst ones. So, without further ado, here are seven things making your period worse.

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1. Work Anxiety & Stress

Researchers have always noted that anxiety or stress originating from the workplace is the biggest contributor to bad menstruation cycles. Also, work anxiety ranked number one as the greatest contributing factor which made menstruation worse, based on Mental Daily’s survey.

Of the 2,000 participants in Mental Daily’s study, 98 percent placed work anxiety or stress as one of their top triggers for a bad period. Essentially, mental health professionals have warned that job stress can increase the risk of depression and even suicide.

2. Caffeinated Drinks

In Mental Daily’s survey, 78 percent of participants placed caffeine as one of their top triggers for severe menstruation, for several reasons. Let me explain: caffeine, specifically soft drinks like Pepsi, can increase the chances of painful cramps and nighttime fatigue. Insomnia, a common symptom of cramps, can keep you up all night, draining you of your energy when it’s time to get up to work.

3. Smoking Your Lungs Away

When it comes to menstruation, smoking is a big no-no! Here’s why: smoking can impact your estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels. Those hormones play a crucial role in the development of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which may leave you looking like the devil.

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Additionally, smoking is often mixed with drinking alcohol, and alcohol is another adverse factor in making your period worse. Since we mentioned alcohol, let’s talk about it.

4. Consuming Alcohol

Hands off the booze! Why? Drinking alcohol right before your period can exaggerate the risk of PMS symptoms, and they’re not pretty.

Drinking alcoholic beverages can also dehydrate you and lower your magnesium levels, which is not good news. Other symptoms caused by alcohol includes mood swings, depression, headaches, and breast tenderness.

5. Skipping On Sleep

Yes, PMS can cause insomnia due to the amount of pain brought forth by cramps. However, there are several things you can do to help you fall asleep quicker. But first, let me explain why skipping sleep during your period is a bad thing.

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Your sleep-wake cycle has a tremendous influence on regulating sex hormones, so when you disrupt this cycle, you are messing up this process. And get this: your period may last longer if you decide to skip sleep while on your period.

Now, if you feel it’s going to be a long, dreadful night, try melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that improves your sleep regulation cycle.You can purchase it at any local pharmacy or drug store.

6. Painkillers

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but taking painkillers can make bleeding worse. Aspirin is one of those drugs that doesn’t mix well with menstruation; however, other over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen can do less harm to your body.

Dr. Nupur Gupta, a consultant Gynecologist, and Obstetrician, gave the following comment when speaking to The Health Site.

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“You should only take a pill if the menstrual pain is affecting your day-to-day activities. And before taking one, you should always consult a doctor about the same.”

7. Salty or Fatty Foods

And, last but not least, consuming salty or fatty foods can cause bloating and abdominal cramps. Foods high in fat can alter the hormonal levels in the body. Here are the following foods to ignore: fatty cuts of beef, whole-milk dairy products, sausages and burgers.

Instead, try eating fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which don’t affect your hormonal levels. Also, reducing the amount of salty or sugary foods can boost your immune system and reduce fatigue during menstruation.

Final thoughts: As science continues to improve our understanding of how the human body works, pain by menstruation will be a thing of the past. If we’re lucky, and still alive by then, I’ll still take male menstruation any time of the month!

Do these habits sound familiar? Share your thoughts below!

Featured photo credit: Huffington Post via i.huffpost.com

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Jose Florez

Mental Health Writer

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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