I recently came across a statistic and then found it all over the internet – that 60 – 80% of primary care doctor visits are related to stress (1). This is huge! Some sources claim 90 – 95% of illness and disease is caused by stress. Again, even more huge. So when we consider the rising rates of menstrual disorders and hormonal imbalances, it would be fair to say that we need to consider stress. We already know that stress has a huge impact on our hormonal balance. To put it simply, if your body is under stress, it is fighting for survival. It will all out favour this survival over your menstrual cycle as it considers it far less important in this present moment. If it were about having a baby, now would not be a good time.
The problem is, we have become so accustomed to stress that for many of us, we have made it a normal way to be. The daily pressures, irritations and annoyances seem normal after a while and we find ways to manage our way through rather than really dealing with anything. Our body doesn’t discriminate – small stress or big stress, we cannot avoid the fact that this is going to impact our body.
Have you ever had irregular periods or even missed a period?
This could be due to stress. Maybe it’s overt stress, where you know exactly what’s been happening and it all makes complete sense. Or, it could be an underlying stress that isn’t so obvious because perhaps it’s just become your normal way to be. Your hormonal system is very intricate and when your body is under stress, it affects the part of the brain that produces hormones to keep everything working as it should. As a result, your period may be missing in action.
This is where stillness comes in.
Stillness is a quality of being and it’s something that we all have. Have you ever held a newborn baby? This is the epitome of stillness. So we are all born with it, yet over time and through our own individual experiences in life, we tend to move away from this quality. Life in general doesn’t exactly make it easy that’s for sure with stimulation galore every which way we turn. However, no matter how far we move away, this quality remains. Always.
Stillness does not mean we don’t do anything. But rather it is a quality that we hold from deep within that becomes the foundation of all that we do. Have you ever felt like you are a walking head? This is a classic way of describing how we live life from our mind, our thoughts and our head and completely separated from our bodies and our innate stillness.
So what does stillness have to do with our menstrual cycle? Well, everything. It has everything to do with our menstrual cycle. Without stillness and our connection to this inner-most and essential part of who we are, our relationship with our body and with ourselves is strained…and this causes stress. Our menstrual cycle reminds us of this. That stillness is what we need to come back to.
Find out more at the upcoming ‘Stillness & Cycles’ 6 week online program starting 14th July, 2020! Places are limited.
1JAMA Internal Medicine. 2013;173(1):76-77