Once you're in the throes of a mood swing, it can be difficult to recenter. Many people go through these episodes, and may feel as though they cannot control them. However, mood swings don't need to strain your relationships or cast a shadow on your life. Keep reading to learn how to control them.
Sometimes, mood swings can be triggered by what is happening around you. Whether it is a difficult task that you just can't seem to complete or a conversation that's making you angry or sad, once you start to feel your emotions change, it will help to step back from the situation. Give yourself time to cool off and rationalize your thoughts.
Engage in Something Else
Once you walk away from the situation, stay busy. Keep your body and mind occupied with an enjoyable exercise like walking or biking. This will also get your blood flowing and produce endorphins, a neurotransmitter that can make you feel better. In the future, you can even use exercise as a way to prevent mood swings and to fight fatigue and anxiety, two things that can cause mood swings.
Improve Your Diet
Even if you're already a healthy eater, everyone has room for improvement. You can't sufficiently take the steps you need to take to avoid a mood swing if you're running on zero energy. As a rule of thumb, always eat breakfast, and take time out for healthy snacks during the day. If you're craving comfort food, like carbohydrates, go for the complex carbs that take longer to break down and release energy throughout the day. Also, make sure you are eating at least five fruits and vegetables every day.
Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Just like it's important to avoid simple sugars that can send you on a "sugar high" and subsequent crash, you'll want to stay away from too much alcohol and caffeine. These substances, along with nicotine, can make you jittery and increase your likelihood of having a mood swing. It's acceptable to have a drink or cup of coffee once in a while, but they should not be crutches that you need to get through the day.
Hit the Sack
One of the most important things you can do to stop a mood swing in time is to get enough sleep. Fatigue, in addition to making you more irritable, can cause you to react negatively to stimuli in your environment.
More Information about Mood Swings
Many people commonly experience mood swings, but this does not make them any less emotionally distressing. If your mood swings are altering your quality of life or you are worried they are a symptom of an underlying medical condition, it is recommended to talk to a doctor.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings".Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress".Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.