How To Tell What “Period Personality” You Have: Embrace Your Hormones and Feel GREAT!

If you’ve spent much time around women, you know that different girls have different moods depending on the time of month. Some are cranky. Others are weepy. Some are bitchy. Others are sweet as pie. You may not know it, but those fluctuations have a name: Period personalities. They’re also known as PMS types or period types, and they all have to do with how your body reacts to your monthly visitor (sorry if that grosses you out). It’s no coincidence that most women experience their worst behaviors during the days leading up to their period—it’s science!

What is a period personality?

A period personality is a set of symptoms—related to hormone levels that are higher or lower than usual—that cause a woman’s mood to fluctuate at different times during her menstrual cycle. While women’s menstrual cycles vary in length, the average cycle lasts 28 days, with ovulation occurring on day 14. Because hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle oscillate, period personalities change as the cycle progresses. A woman’s mood and behavior can change at any time during her menstrual cycle. But what is normal menstruation can become problematic when it occurs frequently or irregularly, or when it becomes extreme. When a woman’s monthly cycle becomes irregular or extremely painful, it can affect her daily life. Changes in mood, including increased aggression and irritability, may also occur.

Knowing your type is key

To keep your mood swings in check, you’ll first want to figure out which period personality you are. Every cycle is different, and some months you might feel like you exhibit more traits than others. But over time, you’ll be able to spot what PMS type you are most often—and learn how to make the most of it! Most types are characterized by irritability, cravings, and physical symptoms like bloating. If you tend to feel particularly bad around your period, it’s helpful to recognize which PMS type you might be so that you can combat it more effectively. To figure out your PMS type, you first want to know when your period starts. Since every woman’s cycle is different, you can use this as a guideline to help you figure out how your body works.

Cranky and Bitchy

If you find that PMS puts you in a particularly foul mood, you could be a cranky or bitchy type. Cranky types tend to be grouchy, impatient, and easily annoyed. Bitchy types may also be moody, whiny, and weepy, but they’re also more likely to lash out at others. These types tend to feel extremely bloated and puffy. They may also have cramps and feel moody, especially during the first few days of their cycle. Cranky and bitchy types are likely to crave salty foods and caffeine, and they may have headaches and feel fatigued.

Moody and Sad

If you tend to feel more anxious, sad, and weepy around your period, you may be the moody or sad type. These types tend to have cravings for carbs and sugar. They may also feel bloated and have cramps. Moody and sad types may also find themselves having trouble sleeping, and they’re more likely to cry or feel depressed. These types may need more alone time and crave alone time even more than usual. They may want to curl up with a blanket and a good book or movie to help them feel better.

Hopeless and Depressed

If you feel hopeless and depressed around your period, you may be a hopeless and depressed type. Moody types tend to crave carbs and sugar, while depressed types crave more protein. Both types may have trouble sleeping and experience cramps. Hopeless and depressed types may also find their period makes them feel hopeless and depressed, causing their mood to worsen. Hopeless and depressed types may want to spend more time alone and crave alone time even more than usual. They may want to curl up with a blanket and a good book or movie to help them feel better.

Confidence Booster

If you feel confident and strong around your period, you may be a confidence booster type. These types tend to feel a little bloated, but not as bad as other types do. They may also have cramps or headaches. Cranky types tend to crave carbs and sugar, while moody types crave more protein. Confidence boosters may feel more energized than usual and want to spend more time with friends and family. Rather than spending time alone, they may want to go out and socialize. They may also want to make more of an effort to dress up and look nice.

What causes period personalities?

Hormones play a role in all types of PMS, but each one is caused by different hormone levels. Research indicates that estrogen, progesterone, and serotonin—all of which fluctuate during the menstrual cycle—are responsible for the different PMS types. While PMS is not a psychological disorder, research has shown that the way a woman thinks can have an impact on her symptoms. Women who experience negative thoughts and feelings, like guilt and shame, tend to have more severe PMS symptoms.

How to feel your best despite your period:

Drink lots of water: While it may seem like common sense, many women ignore their bodies’ thirst signals during their period. Dehydration can lead to cramps and headaches, which no one wants.

Exercise: Exercise releases mood-boosting serotonin. But make sure you choose your activity carefully—like yoga, running, or swimming—to avoid getting menstrual blood on your clothing.

Practice mindfulness: The stress caused by PMS can worsen the symptoms. Practicing mindfulness can help you focus on the present moment and stop stress before it starts.

Maintain a healthy diet: While you should indulge during your period, it’s important to make sure to get enough nutrients from your diet. Be sure to include lots of whole grains, healthy fats, and lots of fruits and vegetables.

Get enough sleep: Sleep helps regulate hormone levels and combats stress. Try to get 7 to 9 hours a night, and if you’re having trouble falling asleep, consider using a sleep aid.

Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself during your period is important, especially if you experience heavier bleeding. Try to get extra sleep and water, and rest when you need to.

Nurture your relationships: PMS can make you feel less social, but it’s important to stay connected to others.

Stay connected to your cycle: Keeping track of your cycle can help you know when to expect your period and plan accordingly.

Know when to seek help: If your PMS symptoms are really bad, or if they interfere with your daily life, it’s important to talk to a doctor.

Bottom line

Period personalities are a normal part of being a woman. While they can be challenging, they can also be a gift. Each personality type has its strengths and weaknesses, and each can help us learn and grow by challenging us to face our obstacles. By embracing your period each month, you can truly thrive, no matter what your PMS type is!

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