I used to deal with both depression and anxiety as a symptom of hormonal imbalance rooted in my PCOS. Cycle Syncing my diet and my lifestyle and getting in touch with the rhythms of my hormones was groundbreaking when it came to my emotional health and well-being. Not only did paying attention to my hormonal cycle help me to understand why I was experiencing anxiety, it also helped me to learn how to prevent my anxiety from continuing.
Choosing natural remedies like anxiety-fighting foods and supplements was a big part of this process, but Cycle Syncing was the foundation. It’s a practice I come back to again and again to recalibrate my emotions, refine my self-care, and listen to the feedback my body gives me every day.
As I have said in a previous post on anxiety women are 60% more likely to experience anxiety than men. There are obviously many possible real-life reasons for this, however there’s also a biological core – our hormone cycles. This is why women can experience different kinds of anxiety at different times during their menstrual cycle, triggered and perpetuated by hormonal imbalances.
As we’ve already looked at supplements to prevent anxiety and lifestyle hacks for treating anxiety, in this new post I want to focus on how your anxiety fits into your cycle and what that can tell you about what’s going on with your body and what it needs to stop you feeling anxious.
The 2 kinds of hormonal anxiety
Once you begin to Cycle Sync your life you will be able to know where you are in your hormonal cycle week to week. The follicular phase (the week after your period ends will feel different to the ovulation phase or the luteal phase (your premenstrual week) or the menstruation phase. Higher awareness and attention will give you the opportunity to understand your anxiety issues more deeply and from there know how it needs to be treated and prevented.
To discuss anxiety I separate the cycle into 2 parts – the first half and the second half. The first half would include the follicular and ovulatory phases; the second half would include the luteal and menstruation phases. It is uncommon to experience anxiety during ovulation (if and as long as you’re ovulating) or during menstruation (which usually provides relief from negative emotions). Hence, here I refer to the follicular and luteal phases only.
Follicular phase anxiety – if you experience anxiety during your follicular phase, that is the week after your period has come to an end, then you are experiencing low estrogen levels or estrogen deficiency.
Natural remedy – Pomegranate seed extract is a great source of phytoestrogens that will help increase your natural levels of estrogen. I do not like to recommend well-known phytoestrogens like soy, because of the potential harmful effects caused by their processing. However pomegranate seeds are a great alternative to boost overall estrogen levels.
Luteal phase anxiety – if you experience anxiety mostly during your luteal phase, this is the week before your period, then you have low levels of progesterone or a progesterone deficiency. Anxiety may be part of what you see as PMS or premenstrual symptoms, along with other issues like depression or acne.
Natural remedy – B6 will help to increase your progesterone levels. B6 is vital for your body to create the corpus luteum that makes and releases all of your progesterone. There are B6 supplements, and I encourage all women to take a B vitamin complex daily, however you can also increase the amount of B6-rich foods that you eat, like wild-caught tuna fish, bananas, grass-fed beef, chicken, spinach, sweet potato, garlic and salmon.
Throughout your cycle focus on increasing good fats and proteins in your diet – these will help your body to stabilize your hormones and keep your brain chemistry balanced. Gut health can be a root cause of many mental health problems, so it’s important to support the microbiota that manufacture happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine by eating fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles every day. Without a foundation of Cycle Syncing your eating, sourcing from a protocol of proteins and fats and hormone-balancing ingredients, your anxiety will struggle to respond to any one kind of natural remedy. But adding these super-effective natural remedies into your routine, layered on top of a holistic and hormonally-supportive diet, will do wonders for your well-being.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you have anxiety?
Second, do you get PMS?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
Is Your Period Healthy?
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign – your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.