Anxiety, mood swings and fear are common when your hormones are imbalanced. Fears and anxiety concerning your ability to function are understandable when you can’t control your emotions. Crying for no apparent reason, being fretful and anxious, and even feeling lost and overwhelmed by the smallest thing is a common complaint when women are struggling with hormone related conditions.
So, what do you do to regain some control?
It takes practice, and it’s not a total solution, but you can make a difference with how you respond. You can work with your brain and what it’s attempting to do, to calm your fears, anxiety and run-away moods.
Not only can you work with your brain to ease these emotions, you can also help to reduce pain.
Pain And Your Brain
I’m going to walk you through pain signals first, so when we start to unpack how this works with emotions, it may help with understanding.
Pain is all in your head.
Let me explain. Your injured tissues are not actually experiencing pain as you perceive it. Rather, when they are injured, they send a message to your brain and your brain creates a chemistry cocktail to induce the sensation of pain and maps it to your injury so you can relate this warning signal with where the injury is.
Your brain is messaging you, alerting you to a problem, so you can address it.
Your brain and body will begin the process of addressing the injury immediately, but your brain also tells you about it so you can avoid further injury and maybe you can find support from a third-party source.
I admit, this is a very simplistic view of pain, and it’s much more complicated than this. However, the point I’m making today you can use as a steppingstone.
And when referring to chronic pain it’s a bit more difficult, because the pain message your brain is sending is complicated. There may not be a single source of injury and electrical signals can become confused. There may not even be physical injury present, but rather your brain doesn’t have a clear means of communicating what the problem is, so it signals pain.
Additionally, there are a myriad of reasons why this system can become dysfunctional. However, for the sake of this article, we’re going to assume all is in working order.
Pain And Safety
Your brain’s number one job is to ensure your safety so you can continue to exist and propagate. A threat can be real such as a lion chasing you across the savannah or imaginary such as you imagining the loss of your income. It can be internal such as a pathogen infection or external such as a wildfire. It can be physical such as breaking a bone or emotional such as being bullied and not being accepted.
When you are not safe, your brain will communicate with you through emotions which are also the result of various chemical cocktails. If your brain is perceiving that you are under threat and you’re not safe, the alarms are louder and more pronounced, to include pain.
Talk To Your Brain
When your smoke detector goes off, it’s warning you of smoke and where there’s smoke there’s fire. It will continue to sound the alarm until you tell it you got the message by pushing the button to turn it off. If you don’t clear the air by a certain time, the detector will go off again.
Your brain does something similar. When you are injured or threatened, your brain alerts you with pain signals and/or negative emotions. If your brain perceives that you are ignoring the alarm or not doing enough to address it, the alarm will continue to sound off. It will even get louder or more intense the longer you wait to address the problem.
I existed with chronic pain for over 20 years, and it was during this time I learned how to lessen my pain by addressing the alarms. I didn’t understand the science behind it, but I learned to manage them just the same.
When an alarm, pain or negative emotion sounds off the first step is to acknowledge it. The second step is to consciously assess the situation by taking a risk assessment and letting yourself know that you are safe in the immediate. What this means is, you are in no real and immediate danger to your survival.
Yes, a moment ago a car cut you off.
Yes, a moment ago or even now, your boss is yelling at you.
Yes, a moment ago you broke your arm.
Unless you are in immediate danger of no longer surviving, consciously acknowledge that you are safe. This immediately downgrades the threat level from Survival and helps to calm your brain, so your instinctual brain can step aside and allow your logical brain to take over.
When this happens, you may still feel pain, but it lessens. You may still be angry, but you are not lost to anger. You may still feel a need to address a possible threat to your future, but you’re no longer caught in an anxiety loop.
Now, you can remind yourself of actions you can take to repair the damage or take precautions not to further damage yourself.
You can remind yourself that you are capable and able to figure things out even if the worst case happens.
You can remind yourself that the driver of the car that cut you off is having a bad day, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
How I Learned This
I learned it through meditation. When meditating, you don’t want to struggle to keep your mind clear of stray thoughts. Rather you want to acknowledge the thought and think: “yes, I want to address that, but not now.” The more you do this, the more your brain relaxes. Your subconscious understands that you are not ignoring what needs to be done, but rather you are prioritizing when it’s done.
The same holds true for pain and negative emotions. When you acknowledge the signal that your brain is giving you and consciously decide if it needs to be addressed now, later or if ever…your brain can relax. Its done its job.
Relating This To Hormone Imbalance
Your hormones are messengers, and if they are responding to dysfunction within your body, they can create a lot of alerts your brain feels a need to inform you of. The more comfortable you are with acknowledging and responding to these alarms in the manner I outline in this article, the quicker those alarms quiet down.
The number alarms may or may not reduce. That depends on how your brain classifies certain patterns.
However, you can help your brain reclassify threat patterns. For instance, the more often you allow yourself to acknowledge and let go of anger and negative reactions to being cutoff in traffic, the less of a threat your brain will see it as. Not the immediate threat that requires your immediate evasion of a possible collusion, but the lingering threat will reduce and the quicker you will move on with your day.
An example which is more related to hormones may be that unexplained need to cry. When you feel a real need to cry at the most inconvenient time, being anxious about it will make that feeling worse. However, if you consciously recognize it as an alarm that is caused by a mixed signal due to hormone imbalance, you can logically acknowledge what it is, that it’s not an immediate threat to your survival though it may be a bit embarrassing, and that alone can help you recover faster and respond to the situation with more grace.
Taking This A Step Further
When you are in the middle of a meltdown or pain is increasing, it can create an anxiety loop. Once anxiety kicks in, it can feel like you are out of options and there’s no way you can take back control. You don’t know how bad it will get, how long it will last and this loop makes your emotional turmoil and pain worse.
If you can practice catching yourself, and are able to remind yourself of moments where there is evidence that what you are experiencing is not hard and fast true, you can break the cycle.
For instance, when I would experience a Fibro Flare – this is when pain and all other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia would intensify, I used to become incredibly anxious about the intensity and the duration of the flare. I imagined it would go on forever and never recede. I imagined it would only get worse and never end.
This made my flare ups worse and they stuck around longer.
When I started to catch myself and consciously recognize that I had flared up in the past, they would calm down over time and reminded myself of actions that I had taken in the past that helps to calm my nervous system – my flare ups didn’t flare as hard nor as long. Today, I rarely have them and they don’t last very long at all.
The same is true for negative emotions. If you can catch yourself and ask yourself what triggered this, what have I done in the past to relieve this, what evidence that this is not true, and so forth. Just the process of asking yourself these questions allows your brain to calm down and switch gears from instinctually trying to protect you to being actively and logical trying to solve the threat.
I recognize that what I outlined in this article may be difficult to grasp. You may have no association with anything I have presented and therefore, it doesn’t make sense. However, if you are curious to learn more or if you do have an idea of how this can help, but need more clarity, I invite you to contact me.
Schedule a FREE Hormone Troubleshooting Session, and we can cover how this can help you tackle your pain and emotional swings related to your hormones using what I have covered and other means.
Whether you are interested in working with me, just curious or want some clarity, click on the button below and schedule your Hormone Trouble Shooting session at a time that is convenient for you.
You do have the means to lessen your emotional and physical turmoil by working with your brain. It’s not hard, but it does take some practice and though it may not be a total solution, it can help your find your way.
Your partner in health,
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