How lucky do you feel from week to week?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day - Hormonology

How lucky do you feel from week to week?


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Whether or not you’ve got Irish ancestry, you may hope that a bit of the “luck o’ the Irish” shines on you today.

But, truth is, your feelings of luck can change week to week due to hormone fluctuations in your monthly cycle.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Week 1: Slow start, lucky finish

Day 1 (first day of period) to Day 7

During the first couple of days of your Week 1, you may feel your luck is on the low side as pain and/or fatigue from menstruation coupled with low estrogen weigh down your mood. As a result, you may avoid taking risks because you worry that the outcome wouldn’t be in your favor. However, once you reach the middle of your Week 1, things take a turn: Not only are you feeling physically better as your period peters off, a higher level of estrogen prompts a rise in brain chemicals that spur optimism, confidence and a brighter mood–all key for feeling a bit luckier. As a result, you may play the lottery, buy a raffle ticket or take another small risk that could possibly pay off.

Week 2: You’ve got the luck of the Irish shining on you

Day 8 to ovulation (which is Day 14 in a 28-day cycle)

By Week 2, your estrogen and testosterone are climbing toward their cycle-long peaks. And they’re spurring the levels of brain chemicals that boost optimism, confidence and mood to climb right along with them–so you’re feeling luckier now than during any other time of your cycle! So, it’s no wonder that you’re apt to jump headfirst into high-risk ventures, such as taking a trip to the casino, investing in a new business or buying stocks or real estate. You may also take big risks with your health and well-being–for instance, driving over the speed limit, drinking alcohol in excess or ordering a triple-sized cheese fries to go along with your double-thick milkshake–since you’re sure that with your run of good luck nothing bad could possibly come of it.

Week 3: Your luck starts to take a turn

Begins the day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (which is Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)

You’re prone to seeing your luck in a more realistic light during your Week 3–you’re not overrunning with good luck, but it’s not all bad, either. This balanced view is due to a combination of lower levels of estrogen and testosterone (which temper that super-high optimism, confidence and mood that were making you convinced you were brimming with good luck during your Week 2) coupled with rising progesterone (which is a hormone that pushes you to be cautious in case you got pregnant during ovulation and now need to be safe for two). This means that when a risky opportunity comes your way–for instance, someone asking you to invest in their product–you’re apt to carefully weigh the pros and cons over and over, acknowledging that you could end up losing and the odds of winning aren’t as glowing as others would try to make them seem.

Week 4: Your luck is running out

Final 6 days of your cycle

You might consider yourself a bad luck magnet today. The problem is that plunging estrogen is dragging down levels of certain mood-managing brain chemicals, prompting you to become a bit more pessimistic, anxious and blue. This can make every little setback–such as a driver stealing your parking space or someone buying the last of your favorite doughnut–feels like the universe is somehow out to get you. As a result of this nothing-can-go-right mindset, you’re far less likely to throw caution to the wind and risk your money, time or health when you’re pretty sure the outcome can only be negative.

No matter where you are in your cycle today, I hope you have a fun–and lucky–St. Patty’s Day!

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

-Irish Blessing

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