Menstruation marks the beginning of a new chapter in a girl’s life. Helping a girl adapt to the bodily and psychological changes that occur during this time can really be helpful in the long run. Families that treat menstruation as hush-hush create shame in girls about it. Whereas families that treat menstruation as a normal part of a woman’s sexual and reproductive health, help foster confidence and make their transition into womanhood lot less fraught with unease.
Consider this – In many households in India and in other countries, women are still asked to refrain from entering the worship place, kitchen and nearly treated as untouchables during menstruation. No wonder, women start feeling ashamed about their bodies and develop even a kind of aversion to menstruation– this is perpetuated by the attitude of the family and the society.
If you buy sanitary napkins in any small shop in India, it is always covered in paper so that it isn’t seen. Also, men shy away from buying sanitary napkins for their wives or daughters – there is a so much secrecy about something that is absolutely normal and essential.
Even if you have an open-minded family, the society and the extended family can make it such a secretive affair that it becomes a time of shame for a growing girl.
So the kind of attitude your family had towards menstruation can play a big role in the kind of limiting beliefs you have about yourself about this.
I am weak because of this.
I cannot be normal on those days
It is shameful to have menstruation
It is an awful time – I hate menstruation
I hate my body
I wish I didn’t menstruate.
How will these beliefs and feelings of shame, aversion and disgust make your body feel? The feelings we have about ourselves; our femininity, our body, and our menstrual sexual and reproductive health do affect the symptoms in our body.
Growing up you may have repressed these feelings and beliefs but subconsciously they will still affect you.
- Beliefs related to menstruation
First and foremost, address all these beliefs that you have subconsciously or consciously been holding about menstruation.
Even though I believe that menstruation is a horrible time because it was such a secretive time while growing up,…
You can also work on the tail enders that come up when you say these sentences aloud.
“It is a normal part of being a woman”
“It is a normal function of my body”
“I accept menstruation as a normal and natural bodily process.”
- Onset of menstruation:
What do you remember about that time? In south India there is custom for this – people celebrate the onset of menstruation. Unfortunately the attitude towards menstruation, after this custom is over, doesn’t change.
Tap on all those memories. Take up each incident one by one.
- Working on past traumas: Clearing past traumas can also affect your menstrual health as anything that affects your emotions, affects your body and your bodily processes as well.
- Do you hate that time of the month? When we experience pain and discomfort, heavy bleeding during periods, we automatically start dreading that time of the month. If you have pain and heavy bleeding then taking time to relax and rest during that time is a good idea. Good eating habits, exercise and herbal remedies can really ease the pain. Tapping on the fear, dread and the pain will help in reducing the pain.
I remember that I started dreading periods and nearly hating it in college due to the intense pain I experienced during that time. Also, the multiple visits to the doctors only left me feeling more averse to it. I used to wish that I didn’t get periods (menstruation) at all. This attitude affected my body. Only when I realized what was happening and accepted myself with menstruation being a natural part of my body, did I become fully comfortable with myself as a woman. EFT helped me a lot with releasing all the limiting beliefs and difficult feelings towards menstruation.
- PMS: We treat PMS like a disease over which we have no control. Yes there are hormonal changes and your mood does get affected but if you become consciously aware of it, then you will be able to accept your mood fluctuations and not get stumped by them. EFT before periods can really help with the mood swings.
- Addressing your beliefs about being a woman
How do you feel about being a woman? Do you feel very self-conscious?
Are you too self-conscious about your body?
What do you feel when you get periods?
How do you feel about your sexuality and your reproductive health?
These questions will bring up core themes that can be tapped on.
- Being compassionate: Being compassionate towards yourself during periods is the best gift that you can give to yourself. Tap on being more compassionate towards your body, your uterus, your ovaries – all the organs that are striving to do the best that they can. Your compassion will help them do a better job.
- Finally if you are a man reading this and understanding it – kudos to you. Speak to your wife, sister, daughter, mother and support them to inculcate healthier beliefs about themselves.
Conclusion: We often neglect our menstrual health and it can really backfire. However, it is never to too late to work on your limiting beliefs and change your attitude towards your emotional and physical health.