How mindfulness and chocolate can help you with PMS

Viele Frauen haben ein starkes prämenstruelles Syndrom

Cravings - including chocolate - fatigue, tiredness, stomach aches, digestive problems, mood swings and even depressive moods. Some of these, or several at the same time, are part of many women's lives in the days before their period. These symptoms can be summarized under the term “premenstrual syndrome,” or PMS for short. For many, the days leading up to their period due to PMS are a recurring monthly curse that isn't necessarily easy to combat. Not easy, but not impossible. A possible help to alleviate the symptoms of PMS can be the practice of mindfulness. How does this work and what does chocolate have to do with it? We'll talk about that in this blog post!

What is PMS and what are the symptoms of PMS?

Let's start at the very basic level. Namely with the term PMS and which symptoms fall under this complaint. PMS encompasses a wide variety of symptoms that occur in the days before menstruation. These include physical complaints such as pelvic pain, nausea and headaches, digestive problems, water retention, breast tenderness and chest pain. But psychological symptoms such as sadness, mood swings and even depressive moods also fall under PMS. The psychological component of PMS in particular causes problems for many women. In the time before their period, those affected feel overwhelmed more quickly, brood more, are even depressed or have impaired self-esteem.

Unfortunately, like so many women's ailments, the causes of PMS have not yet been fully researched. However, it is assumed that cycle-related fluctuations in female hormone levels in the blood can be a trigger.

What helps against PMS?

Because the cause of this common condition has not been fully scientifically clarified, there is no targeted form of therapy for PMS. However, many women find it helpful to switch to a fundamentally healthier lifestyle with a healthy diet, sufficient exercise and sleep, especially in the critical days of PMS. Using hot water bottles for cramps, warm teas, and avoiding nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol during these days can also help relieve symptoms.

It should be noted at this point that if symptoms are extreme, it is definitely essential to see a doctor. For example, if you suffer from pain, there could be something other than PMS behind it, which your trusted gynecologists should definitely check.

Mindfulness against PMS

To combat psychological complaints such as depression and listlessness during PMS, one possible approach is to practice mindfulness. Because stress or stress reduction can significantly influence the course and symptoms of PMS. Why and how does this work? Be sure to read on!

Mindfulness, what is that?

Mindfulness, generally speaking, means consciously perceiving and experiencing the current moment. This principle originally comes from Buddhist teachings and meditation practice. The effect of mindfulness practice has been confirmed in many medical studies for various ailments, including back pain, migraines, eating disorders and ADHD.

There are now mindfulness courses in a variety of versions: from the classic yoga course to forest bathing and mantra singing. In order to actively practice mindfulness and integrate it into your everyday life, you don't have to spend large amounts of money, buy a yoga mat or download an expensive meditation app.

Simply integrate mindfulness into everyday life as a remedy for PMS

As I said, the fashionable term “mindfulness” does not mean meditating for hours. Mindfulness, for example, refers to how you deal with your body. And the inclusion of the completely natural cycle, with its different phases, which can have different effects on our performance. Because even if our performance society tells us otherwise and women in tampon and panty liner commercials happily jump around, ride bikes and their everyday lives are not restricted by their period, the reality is completely different.

The first step towards being mindful of our bodies is to understand that we don't get up the same way every day, with the same energy and the same stamina. Especially in the days before our period, it makes sense, especially for women with PMS, to slow down a bit. Ask yourself what is really good for you these days, for example which foods you tolerate well and which you don't. And a kind of PMS diary can also help to identify aggravating factors and thus avoid them on these days. And: Reduce the demands on yourself on this day and consciously take time for yourself.

Consciously spend time with yourself - mindfulness against PMS

When it comes to the unpleasant emotions that come with PMS for many, mindfulness training, in the form of meditation, yoga or breathing exercises or the mindful preparation of drinking chocolate, can actually provide relief. By concentrating on the moment and completely absorbing yourself in the activity at hand, your thoughts can calm down and relax.

Drinking chocolate for PMS Mindfulness also means listening to your own body (Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash )

Chocolate and PMS

And now we come to another exciting point: chocolate and PMS. Cravings, typically for chocolate, are also part of everyday PMS life for many women. However, because conventional industrial chocolate contains large amounts of sugar, chocolate consumption is often discouraged in this case, as sugar can actually worsen the symptoms.

Now comes the big “but”:
But fine dark chocolates that contain little or no sugar do not belong in this category. Cocoa itself, in its pure form, even contains numerous health-promoting ingredients, including antioxidants, theobromine and many essential minerals. And there are even many exciting 100 percent chocolates, made from 100 percent cocoa mass. You can find a great selection of fine, curated 100 percent chocolates in our shop , for example.

Magnesium in chocolate for cramps

One of the vital minerals in chocolate is magnesium, which cocoa contains in particularly large quantities. Magnesium has an anti-inflammatory effect, is important for the heart and brain and - this is particularly exciting in connection with PMS - helps to relax the muscles and thus prevents cramps. Even before or during menstruation, many women suffer from abdominal pain caused by contractions in the lower abdomen. Magnesium can therefore help prevent or alleviate these cramps.

Dark chocolate can lower stress hormones and release happiness hormones

You've probably already heard the statement that chocolate makes you happy. And there's actually something to it! The substances contained in cocoa and particularly highly concentrated in dark chocolate can help reduce stress hormones and release happiness hormones. For the sake of honesty, it must also be noted at this point that a clearly noticeable effect only occurs when extremely large amounts of cocoa are consumed. The nausea effect would then most likely outweigh the positive effect.

But just enjoying chocolate, the sensual experience when it melts on your tongue, can bring about well-being and the release of happiness hormones. And here we come to the original topic of mindfulness and PMS: Small moments of mindfulness, such as consciously enjoying a piece of chocolate, can help to stop the carousel of thoughts, to calm down and to detach from negative emotions.

Our drinking chocolate as a mindful ritual against PMS

One way you can combine chocolate with a mindful ritual is to prepare and mindfully enjoy drinking chocolate. This means that you not only enjoy chocolate mindfully, but also attach importance to presence and mindfulness when preparing the drink.

Our Theyo drinking chocolates are particularly suitable for this. They are made from the finest fine cocoa and contain very little added sugar. Perfect for the critical phase of PMS. It can be prepared with normal milk, vegan milk substitute or even water. Preparation is particularly easy with our chocolate shaker. Use the drinking chocolate as an opportunity to spend time with yourself, from preparation to mindful enjoyment. Get involved in the exciting aromas of the cocoa and enjoy every sip with full attention.

By the way, Anni from Theyo recommends the 100 percent Cusco drinking chocolate from Peru . With this drinking chocolate you can benefit 100 percent from the positive properties of cocoa, and if you like, you can also use your favorite sweetener, whether honey, agave syrup or cane sugar!

The chocolate meditation to practice mindfulness during PMS

To combine mindfulness and chocolate, you can also try a chocolate meditation. With this you activate all your senses and thus consciously distance yourself from negative thoughts and emotions. How it works?

First of all, it is important to create a time slot in which you can fully concentrate on yourself. For a successful chocolate meditation you also need a fine chocolate with exciting cocoa aromas , which you can explore during the meditation afterwards.

You can then indulge in this chocolate with all your senses during the chocolate meditation. Start with the smell: Open the packaging and smell it. What does the smell of chocolate remind you of? Then break off a small piece and use your eyes to inspect the chocolate closely. What color is she? What does the break line look like? What is the structure of chocolate? Then place the piece on your tongue and let the chocolate melt and develop its aromas. What does the taste remind you of? Can you taste individual aromas?

You can find a detailed description of chocolate meditation in the blog post The Chocolate Meditation: This is how the sweet mindfulness exercise works . Do you want to delve deeper into the topic of mindfulness and meditation? A professional, guided mindfulness chocolate tasting with Theyo is THE option!

Chocolate, mindfulness and PMS: an unbeatable trio

As we have already made clear: If you suffer from severe PMS symptoms, you should definitely consult your trusted doctors. For minor complaints, mindfulness, combined with chocolate, can be a great way to alleviate them. And no matter whether you have PMS or not, a piece of fine chocolate is always a good idea!

FAQ on mindfulness

What promotes mindfulness?

Mindfulness can easily be practiced and encouraged every day in any activity. It describes a state of consciousness in which you actively perceive what is happening, what you are doing, what is happening and accepting the whole thing without judgment. Mindfulness can be actively practiced through meditation, yoga or any other activity that you can fully commit to.

What does mindfulness involve?

Mindfulness simply means consciously and actively perceiving the current moment, calming your thoughts and experiencing the now.

Why does mindfulness make you happy?

Consciously reflecting on the moment can help you calm your thoughts and, for example, break out of negative thought spirals.

How do I practice mindfulness?

In our opinion, you can practice mindfulness particularly well with fine chocolate. You can find detailed instructions for chocolate meditation here .

Header photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

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