Following my article in the last issue of the catalogue about irritable male syndrome, I thought it was a good idea to write about irritable women syndrome in this issue.
It’s common for women to start feeling more irritable and less tolerant especially as they go through menopause, and even beyond.
During and after menopause, oestrogen levels are lower, which can actually mean we have less control over our emotions. Also, our levels of oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) drop, this may explain why the people we love just seem to grate on our last nerve more than they ever have before!
There are a number of things you can try which can help to stabilise your mood and emotions, and hopefully ensure that you still have a happy home life with your family.
Meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, yoga, stretching, tai chi or anything else that works for you. By relaxing your mind and body you can regulate your emotions and stress levels, as well as positively impacting a number of other areas in your life.
Naturally increase oxytocin
The ‘love’ or ‘feel good’ hormone can be increased simply by giving and receiving hugs, patting your cat or dog, or even with random acts of kindness towards others. Thankfully, chocolate works too! It releases dopamine that can increase oxytocin levels.
Caffeine can contribute to these mood swings – have you ever started to feel more impatient not long after finishing your coffee? It’s a good idea to reduce your coffee intake and increase your water intake, making sure you have at least 6-8 glasses of pure water each day (sorry but coffee and tea don’t count towards this!).
Excess sugar and processed foods impact your blood sugar negatively, which in turn affects your moods quite dramatically. This makes it much harder to feel calm, patient and tolerant. Focussing on fresh, whole foods will help to keep both your blood sugar and moods stable.
Maca is packed with nutrients and helps to regulate your oestrogen levels, modulate stress hormones and helps with sleep and energy levels, all which will contribute to a better mood and more patience.
Sage has a positive impact regulating your body’s core temperature (helping to prevent hot flashes), while also helping to prevent mood swings. You can make fresh or dried sage leaves into a tea if you prefer this to a supplement.
Vitamin C is a necessary cofactor for oxytocin production, and because this is not stored in the body it’s important to take it daily.
Have you ever noticed how much better your mood is in summer vs. winter? Vitamin D is an automatic mood booster. It regulates your emotions, helps with sleep and fatigue and even cognitive function.