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Last Updated on October 12, 2017

“Clue” Is the One App That All Women Need On Their Smartphones

“Clue” Is the One App That All Women Need On Their Smartphones

Unpredictable periods can be a nuisance. When we know what’s happening with our bodies, we can plan and prepare. We know to carry extra tampons or pads with us, and we avoid outings that might make us uncomfortable. As women, we’ve been able to work around our menstrual cycles to do amazing things, but all of us can recall at least one time when we’ve been caught off-guard by an unexpected visit from Aunt Flow.

I recently had a night out ruined by my period. My friends were visiting from out of town, and we went to a restaurant. Over the course of dinner, I experienced a lot of cramping, and I thought I might be starting my period. My suspicions were confirmed, and I had to cut the night short because I didn’t have any supplies or medicine on hand.

Being caught unprepared is the worst

Periods are not fun experiences, but we get through them. It’s frustrating enough to feel tired and bloated, but it’s even worse when you don’t know when to expect your period.

Having an irregular period, or not keeping track of your cycle can cause all sorts of problems. You may crave junk food and feel moody without knowing why you feel that way. You might also set yourself up for embarrassing accidents by choosing to wear white pants when your period starts. Plus, who wants to plan a trip to the beach in the middle of her period?

Not knowing when your menstrual cycle is happening can have deeper impacts on your health as well. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you need to know when you’re ovulating.

There’s also a direct link between your menstrual cycle and the effectiveness of your workouts. When you are in the luteal phase of your cycle (right before your period), your metabolic rate increases by 2.5%-11%.[1] You’ll burn calories faster, but it’ll also have a negative impact on your performance.

Your period can be an indicator of your overall health. Irregularities can arise from stress or changes in sexual activity. Taking certain medications can impact your cycle. What you eat during certain times of the month affects your mood, but diet can also disrupt your period. Dramatic weight loss, for example, can cause your menstrual cycle to stop altogether.

Being able to note changes in your menstrual cycle provides clues about your health and wellness. While everybody is different, it’s important to know what is normal for you.

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It’s time to get a clue

If you’re having trouble keeping track of your period on a regular calendar, there’s an app called “Clue” that helps you collect data on yourself. This app enables you to track your period, predict ovulation time, and record information that will affect your menstrual cycle.

Besides being able to track your cycle, Clue can also remind you to take contraceptives and tell you what to do if you miss a pill.[2]

“Clue” keeps data on your period organized and makes it easy to understand

Clue is free, and signing up is easy. You can create an account using your Facebook, Google, or email account. After you verify your account, the app asks you a few questions about your age, the average duration of your your period, PMS symptoms, and your contraceptive usage.

The Clue app uses that information to make predictions about when you’ll be dealing with PMS, menstruating, and ovulating. As you input your data into Clue, it becomes better at predicting elements of your cycle.

You can see where you are in your cycle by viewing the “Your Current Cycle” page.

    You can always reach this page by clicking on the circular icon at the bottom of the page. As you can see, Clue makes it easy to see where you are in your cycle at a glance. The clouds on the cycle indicate when you might experience PMS symptoms.

    The number of red dots beneath the area that says “Period” represent the number of days that your period will last. If you record data related to ovulation, a blue dot will appear when the app predicts that you are ovulating.

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    If you choose to receive reminders about your fertility, the fertility window will appear as a blue section in the cycle. Knowing when you’re most fertile is useful whether or not you are trying to conceive.

    When you click on the green plus sign, you’ll have the option to enter current data about your body. The red droplet icon allows you to record how heavy your bleeding is for that day. When you enter this data, Clue will be able to predict the heaviness and duration of future periods, which can help you make better plans.

      To the right of the red droplet is an icon that looks like a pill. If you take the pill, this is where you record whether you’ve taken your oral contraceptives.

        To access information about oral contraceptives, you can click on the blue “i” icon on the top right. This is so handy if you find yourself in a situation in which you forget your pill, get sick, or you don’t have your medication with you at the proper time.

        The next item that you can track are your emotions. Click on the orange face icon, and you’ll see the screen below.

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          When you record data about your emotions, you can make it easier to figure out why you feel the way that you do. For example, it may seem like you feel sad for no reason, but your feelings might be linked to your menstrual cycle. While knowing this information won’t cure your moroseness, it may make you feel better to understand why you’re sad.

          Hit the arrow to the right of the emotions icon, and you will be able to record information about your sex-life.

            Recording whether or not you used contraceptives can help you understand your risk of pregnancy. A high sex drive could accompany certain parts of your menstrual cycle.

            There’s no question that your cycle affects your skin. Input data about your skin’s condition by clicking on the icon that looks like a peach.

              Finally, you can record types of pain that you are experiencing under the lighting bolt. Knowing when you typically experience headaches, cramps, breast tenderness, and ovulation pain can help you prepare for these symptoms.

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                In addition to thinking about the current month, you can also view data from previous periods and predictions for those to come. If you go back to the “Your current cycle” page, you can go to the calendar icon on the bottom left of your screen.

                  Days with white clouds are those on which you should expect PMS. The presence of a red dot signifies is Clue’s prediction about when you should expect menstrual bleeding.

                  If you’ve recorded ovulation data, a blue square will appear in the top left corner of the day on which you experienced those symptoms. When you have collected enough data, Clue can use this to ascertain your fertility window.

                  To the right of the calendar, there’s a notebook icon that takes you to your analysis page.

                    This test profile doesn’t have much data associated with it, but the analysis section displays predictions as it captures more data. If you select the menu to the right of the cycle (represented by three dots), you can make notes about the cycle or exclude the data from your calculations.

                    Clue even allows you to share your information with others. This can be useful when you’re trying to make plans with your friends. For couples trying to conceive, both partners can use Clue to see when the woman is most fertile. This information could also help your partner understand why you’re tired and cranky on a particular day.

                    Demystify your periods

                    Takes some of the mystery out of when to expect your period. Clue helps you foresee how you’ll feel, when you’re fertile, and when you should expect your period based on the data you enter. You’ll not only be better able to make plans, but you’ll also be able to spot abnormalities and communicate efficiently with your doctor by using this app.

                    Dealing with your menstrual cycle can be complicated, but Clue makes it easier to keep track of your periods and take care of yourself.

                    Reference

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                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                    How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                    Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                    I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                    You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                    Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                    When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                    I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                    Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                    Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                    Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                    1. The Inner Critic

                    This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                    • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                    • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                    • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                    • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                    He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                    Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                    2. The Worrier

                    This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                    He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                    Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                    3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                    He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                    He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                    He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                    4. The Sleep Depriver

                    This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                    His motivation can be:

                    • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                    • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                    • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                    • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                    How can you control these squatters?

                    How to Master Your Mind

                    You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                    Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                    There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                    • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                    • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                    This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                    The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                    Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                    For the Inner Critic

                    When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                    You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                    For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                    You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                    “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                    If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                    • He riles up the Worrier.
                    • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                    • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                    • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                    • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                    Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                    Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                    For the Worrier

                    Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                    Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                    You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                    • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                    • Muscles tense

                    Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                    If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                    Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                    “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                    Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                    If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                    Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                    Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                    For example:

                    If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                    “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                    Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                    “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                    Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                    For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                    Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                    The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                    • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                    • Muscles tension

                    I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                    Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                    Breathe in through your nose:

                    • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                    • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                    • Focus on your belly rising.

                    Breathe out through your nose:

                    • Feel your lungs emptying.
                    • Focus on your belly falling.
                    • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                    Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                    Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                    One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                    Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                    For the Sleep Depriver

                    (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                    I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                    Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                    1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                    2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                    When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                    From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                    For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                    If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                    You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                    • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                    • Shut down your thinking.
                    • Calm your feelings.
                    • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                    Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                    Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                    You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                    Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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