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Meditation For PMS: Worth The Hype?

Meditation For PMS: Worth The Hype?

Written by Yoppie

21 May 2021

What is meditation?

How do you do it?

What are the health benefits of meditation?

What about the mental health benefits? How can they help PMS?

Our top tips for PMS meditation

Some helpful resources...

Hold onto your chakras, folks! We’re diving into meditation for PMS management. Sure, it can seem a little hippy-dippy to some, but meditation has some pretty great benefits - both for physical and mental health, so it’s worth exploring how it could be a useful tool for PMS. Deep breath in… and out. Let’s do this.

What is meditation?

If you thought meditation was something only millionaire business gurus and monks do, turns out it’s become a popular stress management tool for people all over the world, with roots as far back as 5,000 BCE

According to popular app Headspace, meditation is a way to train your mind in awareness, and give yourself a “healthy sense of perspective”. Many people believe the goal when meditating is to eradicate all thoughts, and while that works for some, you don’t need to go into it seeking total enlightenment. It’s simply about learning to notice thoughts without judging them or letting them turn into rumination. 

How do you do it?

There are lots of great resources out there explaining how to make the most of a meditation session (some of which we’ll link to at the end), but as a basic overview of how to start meditating, here’s your no-BS guide:

  • Take a seat somewhere comfortable and quiet. You can do the traditional cross-legged position if you like, or just sit in a chair or on your bed. 
  • Decide how long you’d like to try it for, and set a timer on your phone. It can take a few minutes to settle into it, so we recommend trying around 10 minutes to start. 
  • When you begin the timer, focus on your breath. Feel it pulling in and pushing out, follow it, and notice how it flows. 
  • Any time your mind wanders (it probably will, that’s OK) bring your attention back to your breath without judgement. Use this as an anchor throughout. 
  • When your timer goes off, don’t immediately jump up. Open your eyes gently, take deep breaths, and notice how your body and mind feel before you end the session.

What are the health benefits of meditation?

Meditation is said to have many physical health benefits, but we’ll focus on the ones that could positively impact your period. 

Firstly, meditation is thought to improve sleep, as one study found. People who meditate tend to sleep longer, and those with insomnia find meditation can decrease its severity. Since periods disrupt sleep, and lack of sleep can affect PMS, improving sleep with meditation could help. 

Meditation is also thought to help control pain. Studies found those who meditated developed a greater ability to cope with pain, and experienced a pain reduction, which could be a game changer for cramps. It’s even been linked to the management of bloating from water retention during periods, so if you get really sore and bloated, meditation sessions could relieve this. 

Lastly, it can help regulate food and alcohol cravings at certain times in your cycle, so if you tend to reach for the junk food and make yourself feel worse, this could be what you need. 

What about the mental health benefits? How can they help PMS?

Meditation can positively impact the mental health side of the equation too. At the forefront of its abilities, meditation is known to reduce anxiety in those with generalised anxiety disorder, so if this is something you experience with PMS, a meditation practice could do wonders. 

In addition, it’s been found in many studies to ease stress by reducing the inflammation response, and improving stress-related conditions like IBS, PTSD, and fibromyalgia

Last but not least, meditation can reduce symptoms of depression, with studies showing its benefits as a practice to support treatment of depression. If you struggle with depression (PMS-related or otherwise), speak to your GP to get help and discuss treatment, but know that meditation can support low mood - a handy technique for your mental health toolkit. 

Our top tips for PMS meditation

Thinking of trying meditation to ease PMS? Some find it too restrictive, but if you are open to a bit of stillness, even just for 10 minutes, it could help. Here are a few suggestions for when to try it;

  • When cramps get really bad, try doing short meditation sessions focusing on relaxing the muscles in the belly to manage the pain.
  • Experiment with a longer meditation session before bed to encourage sleep and enhance sleep quality.
  • Meditate when you wake up in the morning to promote good emotional wellbeing, and help manage any anxiety and depression that comes with your PMS.
  • Use a regular meditation practice to check in with yourself and learn how your body and mind feel at different points in your cycle. A great way to track your symptoms.

Some helpful resources...

There are lots of resources out there to help you get zen, and a quick Google will pull up 392 million results *gulp*, so to give you a few quick, easy starting points, you may find YouTube videos like this one and this one helpful for short PMS and hormone-focused sessions. 

There are also great apps like Headspace, Calm and Happy Not Perfect with hundreds of meditations to choose from, so you can tailor your session to however you’re feeling. 

“Meditation is a vital way to purify and quiet the mind, thus rejuvenating the body.” - Deepak Chopra

Have you tried meditation for PMS? We’d love to know how you got on. Tell us about your experience in our private Facebook group or drop us a note on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, PMS supplements and much more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox, which definitely frees up some valuable headspace each month.

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