Let's face it -- periods are unpleasant. Most women experience painful cramps, bloating, fatigue, and moodiness during that special time of the month. This is caused by extreme fluctuations in hormones. In fact, it's estimated that over 80 percent of women experience uncomfortable menstrual symptoms on a monthly basis. But rest assured, you can alleviate symptoms naturally through diet and lifestyle changes. Here are 5 tips to help get you through your period:

1. Take supplements

According to Women's Health, taking vitamin E and essential fatty acid supplements can help reduce mood swings, cramps, and headaches during your period. What's more, a diet rich in calcium can decrease menstrual symptoms. Yogurt, nuts, and dark green vegetables are all great sources of calcium.

2. Try out acupuncture

Research shows that acupuncture can reduce cramps, insomnia, and anxiety that all come during Aunt Flo's visit. This is because acupuncture releases endorphins, which are "feel good" hormones. You should go for an acupuncture session a couple days before your period starts to reap all the benefits.

3. Experiment with herbs

All natural herbs, such as valerian root and evening primrose, can combat menstrual cramps and bloating. Valerian root is a natural muscle relaxer while evening primrose eases uncomfortable cramps. Take between 400 and 900 mg of valerian root, and 2-to-8 grams of evening primrose daily to ease painful period symptoms.

4. Get more exercise

Mild forms of exercise, like yoga, can reduce menstrual mood swings, headaches, and cramps. Why? Because exercise not only increases feel good hormones, but it also promotes circulation, both of which help alleviate even the worst period symptoms.

5. Indulge in a massage

Giving yourself a massage lessens cramps, headaches, and bloating associated with your monthly cycle. Mix some essential oils, such as lavender oil, with a carrier oil, like sweet almond oil. Then massage the area between your groin and waist in a clockwise motion using medium pressure. You'll notice cramps instantly vanish.
DesktopCopy-Consult-2_eusfhp-4 In addition to the above tips, you can also get through your period by meditating. Psychology Today reveals that mindfulness meditation is effective in reducing stress, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, and cramps. While mindfulness meditation might sound complicated, it's actually super simple, and you can meditate virtually anywhere -- even in your office. Here are three easy mindfulness meditation exercises that can reduce period symptoms:

1. Deep breathing exercise

This quick mindfulness meditation exercise takes less than one minute to complete. It helps reduce stress an anxiety.
 
To start this exercise, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in, counting to five. Then exhale while counting to ten. Visualize your stress and anxiety melting away. Repeat six times.
 

2. Breathing meditation

This mindfulness meditation exercise only lasts ten minutes. It alleviates anxiety and pain symptoms.

To begin this exercise, sit with your back straight. Breathe while counting your inhales and exhales from one to ten. Once you reach ten, begin counting backwards to one. Repeat seven times, and then breath calmly for a few more minutes.

3. Body scan

This body scan meditation exercise eases tension and pain, making it easier to fall asleep.

To start this exercise, lay down on your bed, and begin breathing calmly. Then visualize your entire body, starting with your toes. Continue to breath deeply for each focal point. Work your way up to the crown of your head. You should notice that your entire body feels relaxed.

Kick your period symptoms in the butt naturally

Although no woman looks forward to that time of the month, you can reduce uncomfortable period symptoms naturally through meditation, supplements, and massage. Try out the above meditation exercises and lifestyle changes, and you'll never dread your period again.

References

1. "3 Easy Mindfulness Meditation Techniques to Practice at Home or at the Office," Huffington Post, April 13, 2016.
2. "7 Reasons Your Period is Making You Feel Emotional," Bustle, July 13, 2016.
3. "Can Mindfulness Meditation Really Reduce Pain and Suffering?," Psychology Today, January 9, 2015.
4. "Peace out, PMS!," Women's Health, May 4, 2012.

Meditation | menstruation | mindfulness | period | PMS