When it comes to your menstrual cycle, there’s no such thing as too many tips or explainers about how best to deal with the pesky monthly visitor. Want to decode the color of your period blood? And learn about the yoga poses that can help ease the pain of cramps? There’s always more to learn. (Like, did you know you can biohack Aunt Flo’s whole visit?) Luckily, the quest to make the unpleasant parts of your monthly occurrence more bearable is virtually unending, and recent research suggests that one effective method could be as easy (and free!) as meditating.
Clue, a female-health and period-tracking app, claims the mindfulness practice can help alleviate some of the less-than-pleasant aspects of your period. At least one study has shown that stress can cause dysmenorrhea (a fancy way of saying menstrual cramps), and according to Clue, stress can also result in the production of lower levels of estrogen among other imbalances.
A study published in the journal Mindfulness found that meditating can even change your attitude toward period pain, potentially impacting how severe it is.
Enter, meditation: It has already been linked benefits, like curbing your alcohol cravings and relieving pain, the latter of which is crucial during those moments when you could swear your uterus is actively stabbing you. (Trust me, I’ve been there.) And as it turns out, a little bit of mindfulness goes a long way. A study published in the journal Mindfulness found that meditating can even change your attitude toward period pain, potentially impacting how severe it is. And aside from diminishing pesky cramps, the practice can also alleviate physical PMS symptoms like water retention and sweating, according to the study.
So, the next time you’re suffering from some monthly side effects of being a woman, try a hot water bottle with a side of mindfulness. It can’t hurt your case. (More than those cramps, anyway!) And also keep in mind the health benefits to, er, getting busy during your period.