How to Stop PMS Mood Swings

Dr. Tariq MiskryDr. Tariq Miskry

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Dr Tariq Miskry, Consultant Gynaecologist & Obstetrician

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Learning how to stop PMS mood swings is key to not letting your period get in the way of your life.

After all, getting into a row with your bestie or crying at every advert on TV because you’re dealing with PMS mood swings isn’t exactly a bucket of fun. So, if you’re looking for help with PMS mood swings, read on!

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1 What is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome is the name given to the symptoms you might experience just before your period. Between ovulation and the first day of your period your hormones levels go up and down.

These fluctuations can sometimes make you feel more emotional than normal and cause physical symptoms.

Here are common PMS symptoms you might experience:

  • Feeling swollen or bloated
  • Change in appetite
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal cramps and feeling queasy
  • Acne or skin rash
  • Mood swings: feeling sad, tearful, tired or irritable
  • Headaches

But don’t worry, PMS is completely normal and natural, it affects most women at some point in their lives and you’ll simply bounce back again after your period starts.

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2 What causes PMS mood swings?

In order to learn how to stop PMS mood swings, it helps to understand what causes them. The changing period hormones in your body leading up to menstruation are responsible for PMS mood swings.

The dip in estrogen is particularly to blame for mood swings before your period. Estrogen can cause the levels of serotonin in your brain to drop. Serotonin is one of the important brain chemicals that puts you and keeps you in good spirits.

This means you may go from feeling like just about everything is about to make you cry to feeling so angry you could scream – all in one day!

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3 How to stop PMS mood swings?

In order to reduce and manage mood swings before your period and during it, there are a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make. Without further ado, here is a list of natural remedies for PMS mood swings:

  1. First, exercise! Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are your brain’s very own feel-good chemicals that boost your mood. You know that rush you get after running around or playing football with friends? That’s from endorphins.

  2. Next, try avoiding caffeine and sugary foods. These spike your mood, only to set you up for a crash later. If you’re already facing mood swings before your period, the ups and downs caused by sugar and caffeine can be particularly devastating.

  3. Eat a balanced diet and prefer food rich in fibre like fruits, vegetables and beans.

  4. Drink water to stay hydrated.

  5. Try avoiding stress. While stress doesn’t directly cause PMS mood swings, it can certainly make them feel worse. In order to help stop PMS mood swings, do your best to avoid stressful activities and events before and during your period in order to give yourself a break.

  6. Get some extra sleep. Sleep is always great for calming your nerves and helping your body relax. Try not to push yourself too hard and stay up too late for some extra help with PMS mood swings.

  7. Invest in some TLC and “me time”. Do some extra pampering activities for yourself during your period. Anything that will help you relax and slow down the onslaught of thoughts in your head is a good start. Try a good face mask or a warm bath. A warm bath can also help ease period cramps, so that’s an extra bonus.

  8. Get out and about. It’s easy to obsessively worry or rage when you’re in a closed, familiar space. Instead, try taking a walk. Breathe some fresh air. A change in scenery can create a change in mood. Plus, it’s a great natural remedy for PMS mood swings.

  9. Relax. Try practising deep breathing exercises to calm your nerves and feel good.

  10. Listen to how you feel – don’t feel bad if you want to curl up on the sofa instead of going out with your friends.

If all else fails, talk to your doctor about some medication options. Together, you and your physician can come up with a solution to stop PMS mood swings that works best for you.

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