How Fertility Awareness Can Bring Huge Benefits to Your Emotional Health
Learning to live in sync with your cycle, rather than against it, is one of the bonuses of becoming more in flow and in tune with your menstrual cycle. Waking up to this way of living with your cycle can bring huge benefits to your own emotional health as well as benefit your relationships.
Fertility awareness is a way to harness these benefits naturally. As you become more aware of the phases of your cycle and understand the hormonal changes that happen to your body, you can better come to know your own body and understand why you feel the way you do during each phase of your cycle.
The Hormonal Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
There are two main sex hormones that are at play each cycle, and these hormones influence your emotions, motivation, creativity, libido and more.
- Menstruation is characterized by low hormones. It's a great time to spend introspectively and decreasing your responsibilities if possible.
- The follicular phase before ovulation is dominated by estrogen, which binds with serotonin receptors and makes you feel alive - this is a good time to schedule your more intensive activities. Estrogen also helps to build muscle, so this is a great time to have more intensive workouts if that's a goal of yours.
- Ovulation a very short 1-2 day period where your estrogen is high and you'll likely feel the most outgoing. It's a high push before you settle into your luteal phase, so take advantage of the energy and make some preparations if you have the time - meal prepping, larger home tasks, etc.
- The luteal phase after ovulation is dominated by progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. Progesterone helps to calm cells and nervous system, and encourages rest. Some women also find that they feel less social and more introspective. Take advantage of this!
Special note: while cycles are typically displayed as lasting 28 days with ovulation at 14 days, this can be far from the truth for each individual woman.
And there we have it! The whistle-stop tour through the phases of the menstrual cycle.
The interplay of these hormones has a huge impact on how we feel, and when we become aware of their expression at different phases of our cycle, we can live in line with them rather than fighting against them.
Taking some time each day of the cycle to pay attention to how you feel will give you a sense for how these phases play out for you personally. You may not align exactly with the four phases - we're all individuals after all - but understanding how you personally feel during each phase of the cycle will help you connect to your emotions and plan your activities around them.