So here it is...part 3 of the Ultimate Guide to PMS.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Full disclaimer here.
If you have not read Part 1, and Part 2, please do so now.
In Part One, we shared my embarrassing PMS story, and then covered the nutritional/physical strategies for dealing with PMS. Then, in Part Two, we scratched the surface of Flower Essences. We introduced several Flower Essences that can be helpful for bridging the gap between the throes of physical and emotional PMS symptoms and the "witness/observer consciousness" that we need to transcend PMS.
I promised in Part One and Part Two that I would cover the specific mindfulness practice that actually works for me, the Opportunity of PMS, and the critically important thought work that ties it all together.
The Mindfulness Practice that Actually Works for Me
Why do I say "actually" works? Because lord knows I have tried everything to quell the monkey mind, the lawyer brain, the PMS brain -- the chatty, critical, freaking-out human brain by any name you call it. And here is the ONE thing that I can't skip. It isn't meditation, although that is extremely beneficial at times. It isn't Heartmath, even though that is a lovely practice with numerous benefits. And, yoga has a place as well. Furthermore, YouTube videos of Tina Turner chanting are cool because -- TINA TURNER, hello?!? But...If I do one thing to manage the mental and emotional challenges of PMS, it is:
Not just exercise in general. No. Specifically, running. Whether you jog, shuffle, sprint, or simply run, running is different from all other forms of exercise a human might try to do: (1) It stimulates the frontal cortex of the brain. (2) Bilateral movement helps the body-mind process and release trauma. You don't need to be a combat veteran to have traumas that need to be processed and moved through the body. Everyone has some trauma. Need more convincing that running is the key that unlocks many doors of healing? Give this a listen. And give this a read.
I run first thing in the morning, rain or shine, five to six days per week. Sometimes with a headlamp, and sometimes with reflective gear, gloves, a rain jacket and a hat. Not necessarily at 5:00am, although the basic gist of it is the same: start your morning right, and the rest of the day will be so much better.
I didn't start running until I was 29 years old. I had been a ballet dancer and very anti-running as a kid. I just woke up one day -- maybe it was the Saturn Return calling -- and I was like, "I'm a runner now." And that was that. And I was awkward and gasping when I ran my first 5k. It took me over 30 minutes, and I was red-faced and looked like a joke when I crossed that finish line. But, by the end of that summer, I had shaved several minutes off of that time. An identity shift like this is not impossible.
More about running and trauma will be covered in future posts. But for now, our immediate need is to cover the thought work process that ties all of this together. We shall do so in the next post. Please stay tuned. If you are suffering from PMS and the stress of practicing law, consider a run....even if it is simply around the block.