PMS (medically known as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) is often related to ignoring the monthly signal from our body to slow down and go within.
Symptoms like irritability, headaches, depression and fatigue can all be signals from our body to be still, to pay closer attention. When we are busy or distracted by our daily "duties", we often ignore the subtler emotions or physical sensations our body is sending to us this time of month. Research shows daily meditation lowers stress hormones and balances reproductive hormones so that you can answer the call of PMS symptoms and tune in to what your body really needs.
Maybe you already have a meditation practice and if so, engage it on a daily basis and try the journaling practice below.
If you don’t meditate, I suggest beginning with the following practice and the simple approach of initially carving out just 10 minutes per day to meditate.
(*You can read aloud the steps below in a voice memo on your smart phone and then play them back as a guided meditation. Remember to talk softly and slowly.)
- Sit on a cushion or in a comfortable chair with your spine erect and your hands resting comfortably in your lap or on your knees. Comfort is key!
- Begin by simply bringing awareness to your breath. Follow your inhale through the nose and down into lungs, and then follow your exhale from the bottom of the lungs back out through the nostrils. Stay with your breath in this way for several minutes.
- You may notice your mind wandering away from your breath, and that’s okay. Breathe into any areas of your body that are calling your attention. Notice the sensations and allow them to be there. Are there any emotions associated with the physical sensations? Allow those to be there, too.
- With practice and perhaps by trying longer meditations, you will experience more and more moments of inner stillness, where you become a witness to your thoughts and emotions instead of getting caught up in them. Often in this space, insight or inner guidance may come through. Simply bring your awareness back to your breath whenever your attention wanders.
- Honor the time you have committed to your meditation practice by staying present to whatever is unfolding and by fostering an open mind to receive the subtler messages your body may be giving to you. Use the suggested journaling practice following your meditation.
Following your meditation, the practice of journaling is a great way to record and explore any insights or “aha” moments you encountered during your meditation. If emotions, memories or perhaps physical needs surfaced, use your journal to recall and process further.
My top three journaling “rules” are: 1. Write in your own voice. 2. Keep your pen moving quickly even if you have to scribble at times. 3. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. Wisdom and insight often flow through your pen when journaling in this way. Trust what comes!
Catherine Gregory, CMT, CMI is a certified meditation instructor and holistic health practitioner in Colorado. Learn more about her services at www.fertilebeing.com.