Your hormones play a significant part on how you focus, how you perform, what you eat, how your body manages your weight and your stress levels. Your lifestyle can easily influence the health of your gut which in turn affects your hormones, because your gut is your endocrine system and when your hormones are imbalanced, your work performance will be affected, your relationships will feel it and your body will know it. If you have had more stress, less movement and little community support, you may be feeling the impact on your body and mind. By paying attention to your moods, your cravings and your energy levels, you can change your mood from bad to happy, from distracted to productive and from not wanting to be touched, to wanting to be loved.
I spent hours listening to TedTalks, webinars, and interviews on stress and weight gain for a course I was putting together. I read articles after articles and found a common link to mood swings, hormones. When we are aligned with the beat of our bodies, our hormones are balanced and doing their jobs. Serotonin is released naturally when you are happy, dopamine is released when you need energy, melatonin is released when you need to rest and cortisol is released at normal levels to help balance your sugar levels and stress level. And if you are a woman, your cycle flows easily, without extreme discomforts in your body or your mind. But when your gut isn’t healthy, your cycle can end up making you feel like you are on a roller coaster ride of emotions that can tear you apart, emotionally and physically.
A flow can be like this, one day you feel confident and able to take it all on. You fall sleep easily. You eat mindfully. Your stomach feels flat and your body feels light. You are clear on what needs to get done and you are happy and ready to take on the world.
Then a few days pass and you wake up feeling less confident. Not as motivated to exercise but you do it. Not so willing to work, but you do it. Your stomach is looking more bloated than usual. You’re beginning to not feel so optimistic.
At first you were feeling confident and efficient then your hormones have an imbalance and it’s not sending the message to your brain to be focused, to be happy, to want to be loved, knowing you deserve to be loved. Your negative emotions have taken over. You aren’t sleeping as well or maybe too much. You aren’t eating as well and your exercise routine isn’t up to par along with your confidence, oh and let’s not forget your patience. All that goes out the door.
Your emotions can flow like this:
I am ready to tackle my work.
I want to have sex.
I want to eat right.
I feel energized and strong.
I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Today I’m feeling a little more anxious.
And now I am depressed, eating crappy and just wanting to rest.
Here are simple ways to notice hormone imbalance and know what to do next:
Keep track of you periods. Know when you are due. Usually two weeks prior to your period you will enter PMS mode. That is the time when you can fly! You are strong and ready to take on the world. But for some, this may be the time you mood is not so great, your sleep is deprived, and your feelings are more sensitive.
Write. Journal. Story tell. However you feel best writing, do it. It truly helps to get on paper what’s floating around in your mind. I am big on writing. It heals. It can be used as a long for you to see that depending on the time of the month, the stories floating around in your mind, the feeling your body is having are all
Eat for your hormones. There are many foods you can eat to support all the hormones in your body. For instance blueberries help release serotonin. Your gut is endocrine system. It creates hormones, it sends out messages to hormones, and it stores hormones. I know it can be hard to eat healthy especially when you’re craving carbs, salt and unhealthy fats, but really make an effort to eat mindfully especially during your menstrual cycle or times you feel your mood declining. This will help you get out of the period funk faster and lighter. Eat more vitamin B’s like squash, chickpeas, tuna, salmon. Eat more vitamin C’s like berries, cruciferous veggies (broccoli and brussel sprouts), Eat more magnesium like Joule Bars, nuts, avocado and brown rice. Eat more zinc like Joule Bars, seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Although you should eat these nutrients daily, you should definitely be more mindful on the nutrition you take in during times of your cycle.
Try this Brussel Sprouts Miso Salad I make when I need to reboot my hormones.