Ever wonder why some negative experiences or stories stick to your brain like glue and others quickly fade from memory? A recent study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology provides a clue: During Week 3 and most of Week 4 of your cycle (approximately 15 to 25 days after the onset of your period), progesterone prompts changes in the brain that help it store emotionally-charged experiences—such as frightening news reports, a heated argument with a friend or scary movie—more effectively into your memory banks, making them easier to recall later on.
It’s likely this hormone’s way of helping to keep you safe in the future by reminding you of potential threats to steer away from. But, now that you know when this happens, you can avoid accidentally filling up your noggin with unpleasant memories! All it takes is remembering that once Week 3 rolls around, it’s time to skip unnecessary negative news reports, try to compromise with a pal before a conflict escalates and save fright flicks for the first half of your cycle when progesterone levels drop.