Crabby, screamy or downright rude in your Week 2? So am I. Here’s why….

My Hormonology

Crabby, screamy or downright rude in your Week 2? So am I. Here’s why….

tiffI’ve said it over and over and over: During your Week 2–which is the week leading up to ovulation in the middle of your cycle–high estrogen and testosterone rev your mood and make you more patient and kind to others.

But, I think it’s high time I reminded you that in your Week 2, you can also get crabby, screamy and downright rude (well, I can, at least), making folks mistake your high-hormone Week 2 for your low-hormone premenstrual week.

I spent the last hour experiencing exactly this.

Even though everything was going right this morning–I’m in my Week 2, I got my last article for the week in to my editor and did an endorphin-boosting two-hour workout–I was not the kind, cuddly high-estrogen gal you’d think I’d be while running errands today.

Every single person was ticking me the heck off. And there was a good reason for it: When I’m in my Week 2, my high estrogen and testosterone make me want to go fast. Like fast fast.

This means I hate to be boxed in by cars going, heaven help me, the speed limit. Or being blocked from striding down a store aisle because someone, bless their annoying little heart, has inexplicably stopped in the middle of it to think back to why they were in the store to begin with.

So, living in a beautiful beachside Florida town where aging “snowbirds” flock every winter to clog the streets with their slow fuel-efficient cars and jam up store aisles with their feet-tripping walkers can be a challenge once my high-flying Week 2 arrives.

Which is exactly what happened today. After being marooned behind the fifth car doing less than the speed limit (less–can you imagine!), being stuck behind two seniors blocking the entrance to a store for five full minutes while they discussed which direction to turn once they got inside (you can almost feel the rage boiling, can’t you?), being forced to ride the slow-as-the-Kilauea-lava-flow escalator all the way up because the person in front of me wouldn’t walk up, but also wouldn’t step aside and let me by (seriously, was I being punked?) and then being stopped from leaving my parking space by an out-of-state snowbird who just had to crawwwwwllll her sensible 2003 Nissan Sentra past me even though she saw I was already pulling out, I blew my top and actually screamed “Immagonnacutchoo!” Hand to my heart. (Relax, both our windows were up–she only saw some crazy chick in a yellow Yaris mouthing something incomprehensible at her.)

Anyway, after Ms. Sensible Sentra finally ambled off, I had to laugh at myself and think about what was going on.

As I’ve said, Week 2 is a time when high hormones amplify positive emotions, making you happier. And, these hormones, in fact, make you more prone to experiencing upbeat moods out of the blue on these days in your cycle.

However–and this is a big “however”–the same high estrogen and testosterone in Week 2 also amplify negative emotions you experience–fanning the flames of impatience, irritation and anger.

That’s because they amp up brain arousal, giving you a more intense version of whatever emotion you’re feeling.

That’s why you’re thoroughly convinced you’re head-over-heels in love in your Week 2…only to have those gotta-have-this-person-or-I’ll-die feelings often fade once Week 3 rolls around as the level of these hormones dip. Or why you’re totally blown away by a food, movie or piece of art in your Week 2…only to find the same exact thing ho-hum in your Week 3. Or why you’re easily inspired by a passionate speech or story you read online in your Week 2…only to find you’re barely moved by similar speeches and stories one week later into your cycle.

So, what’s the takeaway here–I mean, besides the obvious one of not getting in my way when my Week 2 arrives?

Keep in mind that during your Week 2, your emotions are going to be set to high. Then, try to take advantage of this hormonal effect by fitting in more positive stuff that’s sure to rev your mood, like hanging out with friends or doing your favorite activity.

And try to avoid things that are going to tick you off–or at least keep in mind that when stuff happens that does tick you off, you may need to consciously rein in your over-the-top emotional response to it or find healthy ways to cope with the situation that don’t necessarily involve rude gesticulations and foaming at the mouth like I’m prone to doing.

Aaaand, if you catch me in my Week 2 doing just that even after I cautioned you not to, well, sorry in advance. My hormones made me do it!

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