Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can cause a lot of difficult symptoms for women who have it. Stress itself is a symptom of PCOS, but it’s worsened by the comorbidities and other symptoms of PCOS. From type 2 diabetes and infertility to weight gain and hair loss, Cysters can have it rough living with the effects of PCOS, leaving them stressed out!
Luckily, there are lots of ways to manage stress. And, when it comes to PCOS, stress management means symptom relief! Of course, this is easier said than done. You can read some of my top PCOS self-care methods here, but today I wanted to talk about one of the most beneficial methods of stress relief: meditation!
When you’re facing difficult PCOS symptoms, it’s easy to get super discouraged. It seems like the options are to “deal with it” or get on prescription drugs with potential side effects that only add to your list of symptoms. I know this is how I felt! (You can read my whole story here.)
However, there are tons of natural ways to regulate your hormones, lose weight, and alleviate symptoms. These can feel like big lifestyle changes, but the positive effects will give you hope for the future you’ve been waiting for! One of those daily practices that can have a big impact is meditation. This one isn’t hard at all, and it’s been essential to so many Cysters who are naturally healing their PCOS. We’re going to break down how and why it’s helpful!
Can Stress Cause PCOS?
There isn’t evidence to state that high cortisol (stress hormone) levels directly result in polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, there is significant research that shows how stress can worsen PCOS and cause some of your worst symptoms, including body hair growth, acne, infertility, hair loss, and weight gain.
Because stress can make PCOS so much more difficult to live with, reducing stress is one of the best ways you can alleviate your symptoms and reverse your PCOS. You can reduce stress in your life in lots of ways, but meditation is one of my personal favorites!
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is the practice of focusing and clearing your mind to relieve anxiety and stress. You use relaxation techniques like deep breathing, mantra repeating, and visualization! Studies show it helps improve your mental and physical health. It’s often paired with yoga and mindfulness!
If you want a deep dive and some practical ways to incorporate meditation into your PCOS healing process, listen to the episode of A Cyster and Her Mister called “Mental Health Practices with Lauren Belcastro!”
Benefits of Meditation For PCOS
Reduces stress levels.
Studies have shown that meditation helps reduce cortisol levels and improves your ability to manage stressors. When your stress is lowered, not only do you feel better, but your blood pressure goes down and your insulin sensitivity (blood sugar) improves. This can reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes while making weight loss much easier. Additionally, when insulin resistance improves, so do symptoms like irresistible cravings, irregular periods and weight gain, feeling hangry, and irritability. Yes, improving this one thing can have a big impact on your health!
Alleviates anxiety and depression.
Meditation has also been shown in research to help ease anxiety and depression. Studies show that meditation can have similar effects as other well-respected psychological treatments—this is a natural treatment that’s been proven effective! This is important information for Cysters, who are more prone to feel the effects of depression and anxiety.
Improves focus and cognitive function.
Another common symptom of PCOS is brain fog. Whether it’s due to fatigue, stress, hormonal imbalances, or nutrient deficiencies, meditation has been shown to help with cognitive function. It can help improve focus, memory, processing speed, and more! I’d recommend practicing “concentrative” or “focused” meditation if this is an area where you’re looking for symptom relief. Here’s more on the different types of meditation.
Meditation can help you relieve stress and hopefully reduce symptoms of PCOS!
It’s not at all uncommon for Cysters to struggle with mental health. It’s stressful to manage a chronic health condition, but there are natural mental health treatments for your PCOS. Try meditation and see where it takes you!
For more ways to naturally heal PCOS, head to my blog and download The Cysterhood App. There, you’ll find PCOS-friendly workouts and recipes and a huge community of women ready to support you on your journey!