Mental health has recently become a big topic of discussion, especially stress, which is most often the cause of someone’s mental health slump. The impact of stress is not only limited to your mental health, but it can also impact your physical health. Stress is a natural reaction when a person faces an abrupt and unpleasant change in their surrounding environment.
Signs of stress
Check the signs of stress below, do you experience two or more of these signs? If so, chances are you're under stress.
dizziness, migraine, muscle stiffness, diarrhea, heart palpitations, constipation, difficulty sleeping, ringing ears, decreased sexual desire, cold hands and feet
confusion, irritability, frustration, volatile emotions, pessimism, feeling useless
exhibit restless behavior such as pacing back and forth, difficulty concentrating, forgetting easily, nail biting, overeating, refusing to eat, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
There are two groups of factors causing stress, internal and external. Some examples are:
- Poor sleeping habits
- Unhealthy diet
- Overall health and fitness
- Excessive pressure in the workplace
- Excessive pressure from family and living environment
- Losing a loved one
- Losing a job
Internal factors actually have a big role in triggering stress because it is closely related to lifestyle and daily activities. However, external factors also have a crucial role in triggering stress because it is related to something that is out of your control.
The impact of stress on the menstrual cycle
Stress in general will have an impact on physical and mental health. Both will be interconnected and mutually influence one another. In particular, in women, stress will have an impact on the menstrual cycle. How so?
In stressful situations, the body will respond by releasing the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to help us deal with the stress that arises. The release of these hormones is responded to by the system that regulates the menstrual cycle in the body.
If this happens consistently, then it will trigger the production of hormones that will delay your periods until things return to normal. As a result, a woman can experience irregular menstrual cycles or even no menstruation at all.
Furthermore, it is not impossible that excessive stress can have an impact on women's health in general and more specifically, your fertility.
How to prevent the negative effects of stress on the menstrual cycle
As explained earlier, stress is natural and normal. It's just a matter of how to prevent excessive stress and the effects of it from affecting the menstrual cycle. Here are some ways you can manage stress:
- Try a meditation practice to help your mind focus
- Allocate time to get enough sleep at least 7 hours a day
- Exercise or just move your body, even if it’s only for 10 minutes every day
- Eat healthy, more fruits and vegetables
- Take up new hobbies and activities
- Contact family and close friends you trust
- Contact the nearest psychologist if you need extra help. In some local health centers, this service is readily available.
The menstrual cycle is a special process in a woman’s body that must be taken care of. Do not let stress damage this perfectly constructed system. Take care of your health and manage stress levels so that the menstrual cycle and the body stays healthy.
Read more about women's health on Nona Woman's blogs.