There are various symptoms for premenstrual syndrome, more commonly known as PMS, but the most common behavioral and emotional symptoms are anxiety, depression, over-sensitivity, aggression, food cravings or appetite changes, insomnia, tension, irritability and mood swings. Such emotional symptoms often cause friction within relationships, families and friendships – not to mention your working life.
Some of the physical signs on the other hand include breast tenderness, headache, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, acne flare-ups, bloating, and weight gain due to water retention.
No one is quite sure what causes PMS, but it is thought to be the result of a hormonal imbalance, triggered by your body as it gears up for a period. Hormonal fluctuation due to cyclical changes is one of the main factors that contribute to this condition. Another major factor for this condition is the rise and fall of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is linked to mood changes. Experts believe that insufficient supply of this brain chemical can lead to premenstrual fatigue, depression, insomnia, and food cravings.
There are many regular ways to beat PMS; avoiding Nicotine and Alcohol for one thing, steering clear of caffeine in coffee and tea, eating a healthy balanced diet and taking vitamins. What Women Want… team researched more creative ways for you to beat PMS… the DIVA way! It is lady recommended and it works!
- Get a Mani-Pedi
What makes us feel good no matter what? A Manicure-Pedicure is the answer to your prayers. Trust me, that nail polish will smear that mood right away! Besides, you will feel pampered and special while you get it and that will seal the deal.
- Go to a nice dinner
Got a favorite dish or a favorite restaurant? Hit it now! Got get those Chinese chicken wings, order those Jalapeño Poppers by phone, do what ever it takes to indulge in food that you love to eat. It will immediately change your mood. The important thing is; don’t feel bad about the extra calories; your body needs 500 extra calories a day in the run up to your period, as that’s when your iron levels are at their lowest. On those days, have a healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to keep everything ticking over normally.
- Chill out
Stress is also implicated in PMS. If you’re stressed, you’ll have worse PMS than when you’re relaxed. Practice ways of relaxing, such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or anything else that works for you. Go get a massage, take a calming bubble bath, light up some candles, dim the lights and plunge in a comfy chair to read, whatever works for you!
- Watch your favorite movie
This may sound silly, but everyone has a movie that manages to uplift them no matter what. A movie that inspires, empowers, or just makes you laugh. ”You’ve got mail” works for me. Whenever I feel down, I just pop into my DVD player and I’m in a different world, and the inventor of movies rests happily in his grave! When you feel PMS attacking, kick back with a cool smoothie and a good movie; you will see results that you’ve never expected.
- Spend some Cash!
What are you waiting for? Hit the mall, do some serious shopping! Buy those sexy slim denims you’ve wanted for months, get new lingerie (boy that works!), and you know what will make you feel awesome? Shoe Shopping! Remember, no matter what the size of a problem, a size 38 can make it go away.
- Take me to the Candy Shop!
Snack away, get something sweet to eat. Sweets help boost Serotonin into your veins – a hormone that makes you feel happy and satisfied. For me, a low-fat ice-cream cone always does the trick. Just a few licks off this baby and I’m content. Don’t get carried away though with foods that contains large amounts of fat. A momentary lapse will make you feel good for seconds and then you will regret having those 30 pieces of Maki! Remember, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.
- Shake it off
Get moving!Exercise can enhance your mood, as it helps boost your brain’s level of feel-good chemicals called endorphins. At least four exercise sessions a week that leaves you breathless for 20-30 minutes will help.
- Lose those extra pounds
Several scientists have discovered that the more overweight you are, the more likely it is you’ll suffer from PMS. Similarly, researchers have found obese women are three times more likely to suffer than those of normal weight. Time to think again about those extra pounds, and find a way to lose them! Don’t go on a really strict diet though; that will cause more depression. A balanced diet and regular exercise will make you feel healthy and energized, and will help with the weight.
- Go Slick
As silly as it sounds, if you dress up and put on some make up even if you’re sitting at home, I guarantee you that it will make you feel beautiful and that ought to lift your mood up a little. Try it, what’s to lose?
- Cruise it off!
Another silly idea, but I swear it works like a charm! Slip into anything available and go for a drive alone. Don’t forget to have music on though, cruising without music will make you think more about things troubling you rather than unwind. Put some music that you love; something positive and energetic and that will make you sing along. If you don’t feel better, than you had better see a shrink!