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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 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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