Poor diet, stress, and lack of exercise and rest may or may not be the direct causes of PMS. But they are contributing factors for sure. And these are factors we can do something about. By cultivating a healthier lifestyle, you’ll be able to reduce the severity of PMS or even eliminate it all together.
Real change happens when we take an objective look at every aspect of our life and adopt an integrated approach toward making lifestyle changes. That said, making a drastic lifestyle change is never an easy task. A gradual change is often more realistic and enduring. Pick an area of your life you’d like to focus on – develop one healthier habit at a time.
Eating habits can have a sweeping effect on PMS. We are what we eat, especially when our bodies are ultra sensitive to various stimuli during the premenstrual phase. Below are some simple dietary changes that can help ease PMS symptoms:
- Increase your consumption of complex carbohydrate
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Include some protein in every meal
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit simple sugars, salt, caffeine and alcohol
- Eat more amino acids
- Supplement your diet with Vitamin B-6, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium
Life is in the moment. It’s a simple truth. Research has shown that regular exercise may directly alleviate some PMS symptoms such as bloating, abdominal and muscle cramps, headaches, and lower back pains. And we all know that exercise is one of the greatest mood lifters! Combining regular aerobic exercise with relaxation or meditative exercises such as yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi during the premenstrual phase, may actually multiply the effects on mood and wellbeing. The key is to pick some forms of exercise you enjoy and do them regularly.
Each of us has our own unique rhythms to life. Every day and every month, we go through cycles of highs and lows. During premenstrual phase, many women are especially sensitive to any change that may upset their bodies’ natural rhythms. It is therefore important to stay in tune with your natural rhythms and arrange your daily activities in accordance with them rather than against them. It certainly helps to develop a regular routine such as getting up and going to bed at the same time each day.
Stress does not cause PMS per se, but research does suggest that stressful events can exacerbate PMS. It is important to recognize our stress signals early and take steps to manage stress better – by removing yourself from stressful environments, by better managing your time and activities, by practicing breathing and relaxation techniques, or by changing how you see the stressful events in life.
Take an integrated approach, but be patient – one habit at a time.
It takes commitment and discipline to develop new habits and make lifestyle changes. But it is worth it, because you are worth it. When you live better, you’ll feel better and love better!
And remember, you’re not alone. Please join our global community of women who understand you and are here to support you on your journey to health and harmony.