Hormonal Shifts in Women That May Contribute to Intrusive Thoughts
Hormonal changes can happen more easily than you might think, and they can lead to damaging physiological effects. Many people experience intrusive thoughts before a period, but they’re not inherently a cause for concern: They happen to many people during their menstrual cycles. Dealing with intrusive thoughts means finding the root cause of hormonal imbalance, which can lead to those unwanted thoughts. Luckily, the explanation is simpler than you might think.
What Is the Root Cause of Hormonal Imbalance?
The root cause of hormonal imbalance is the fluctuations in the number of hormones secreted by the endocrine glands. While it might not seem like a big deal, even a slight change in the number of hormones secreted can impact your body strongly. Hormone imbalances can affect your digestive system or sleep, leading to a significant disruption in your life.
You can help regulate hormone imbalances by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, among other natural fixes. The best way to combat these changes to your body is to have a routine of taking care of yourself and practicing good hygiene habits. By eating well-rounded meals, you’ll also show your body there’s no need to overcompensate for the hormones.
Also, these hormonal imbalances might lead to you experiencing intrusive thoughts before a period. Since the brain can sometimes fail at filtering out intrusive thoughts, you might have an overactive amygdala, the part of the brain that helps regulate emotions of anxiety. This overactivity might lead to intrusive thoughts, which can damage your mental health if you focus on them too much.
Why You Might Get Intrusive Thoughts Before A Period
Intrusive thoughts are just that: intrusive. They might disturb you and cause you distress, but they are common. Around six million people have intrusive thoughts, meaning you’re not alone, and they’re relatively normal. Sometimes, they can be triggered by something, and at times, they’re seemingly random. Here are just a few reasons you might be experiencing intrusive thoughts before your period.
1. Cortisol Levels
When you feel stressed, your negative emotions rise. Cortisol is a hormone that controls the amygdala, so when you feel stress and start to experience intrusive thoughts, you can likely blame cortisol. This hormone can put you in the fight-or-flight response, and when you’re in that state for too long, it takes a toll on your body. To ease your stress, you may need to convince your body that the threat has passed. Try to relax through activities you love, and your body and brain won’t sense you’re under attack anymore.
2. Serotonin Levels
Serotonin is great, as it’s the hormone that makes people happy. Unfortunately, your serotonin levels are lower near bedtime than when you first wake up, which can make falling asleep difficult if you’re plagued by anxiety. Try setting a healthy routine for yourself that gives you something to look forward to all day. Start associating bedtime with good, relaxing things. Maybe you indulge in skincare or eat something delicious right before bed. Doing so might help you maintain your mood all day long.
3. Estrogen and Progesterone Fluctuations
Finally, the hormones that change during your period might lead to an influx of intrusive thoughts. These fluctuations can lead to premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which can have several physiological symptoms, like paranoia, anger, anxiety and more. These fluctuations are a normal part of the menstrual cycle, which encompasses more than just your period.
Know the Connection Between Female Hormones and Mood Changes
Female hormones and mood changes go hand in hand, especially when you count the menstrual cycle. During your cycle, your hormones will fluctuate, leaving you feeling less like your usual self. You might experience intrusive thoughts before a period, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, as intrusive thoughts are common. If these fluctuations start to bother you immensely, try to take care of yourself naturally — and then consult a health care professional if you’re still feeling unwell.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.