My HormonologyDo you put stress-busting activities–like yoga, exercise, meditation, having fun with friends, doing favorite hobbies and taking a vacation–at the bottom of your to-do list?

If so, here’s one good reason to turn your to-do list upside down: A study in the Journal of Women’s Health reveals that women who are the least stressed throughout their cycle have significantly fewer and far less intense bothersome symptoms on the days right before and during their period (such as irritability, moodiness, the blues and pain) than women who are highly stressed.

While the link is unclear, the researchers theorize that stress may alter estrogen and/or brain chemical levels in a way that worsens premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Sounds like a good reason to start penciling in some relaxation-time today.