My Hormonology

Which week are you on in your cycle?

Week 1
First day of period to Day 7
Today’s hormonescope: You’re full of ideas today, for instance, recipes to try, projects to launch or vacations to take. Credit goes to rising estrogen and testosterone, which rev up your thinking skills and desire to do stuff, making you dream up plans you want to jump on right away!

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 13
Today’s hormonescope: You may end up stressing out over an issue today, making your stomach churn, your shoulders tight or your head pound. The reason? High estrogen makes your response to anxious situations more intense and longer-lasting, research shows. So, have relaxation methods that work for you ready when you need them, such as distracting yourself with TV, comforting yourself with tea or slow breathing. If you choose slow breathing, try keeping your breaths shallow. A just-released study out of Southern Methodist University reveals that slow, shallow breaths soothe you faster and more effectively than deep breaths. That’s because deep breathing causes you to exhale an abnormally high amount of carbon dioxide, which, in turn, triggers dizziness and a suffocating sensation, which leads to more panic. But, taking shallow breaths limits the carbon dioxide you expel, calming you and lessening that throat constricting feeling.

Week 3
Day 14 (or ovulation) to Day 22
Today’s hormonescope: Careful of cushiony easy chairs, warm, snuggly beds and the cuddly arms of your special someone. All will be harder to pull yourself out of today as rising progesterone slows you down, tires you out and makes you enjoy a comforting feeling.

Week 4
Day 23 to the end of cycle
Today’s hormonescope: You’ll probably be drawn toward lighter entertainment, like comedies and upbeat dramas, than documentaries and foreign films today. Researchers say it’s because we automatically look for fun ways to distract ourselves from premenstrual aches and pains, which occur as plunging estrogen makes you more sensitive to even slight discomforts.

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