Everyone has experienced being down in life. Feelings of anger or sadness may lead to seclusion from the rest of the world. Life is filled with obstacles, and at times, body processes can contribute to an even worse mood. However, constantly feeling sad or depressed can be detrimental to health and overall well-being.
Why Use Mood Enhancers?
Many people use mood enhancers to brighten their day. Mood enhancers are anything that a person can use to boost their mood. This includes medication, exercise, lifestyle changes, food, and relaxation techniques.
Some mood enhancers can be used to counteract processes in the body. For example, a lack of exposure to sunlight can lead to a vitamin D deficiency, which then affects the brain and mood, potentially leading to seasonal depression. Taking a vitamin D supplement can help prevent a deficiency. A hormonal and chemical imbalance brought on by pregnancy, menopause, and the menstrual cycle can also have a great impact on a woman's body and mind.
Ways to Improve Your Mood
There are many ways to improve your mood. There are both mental and physical approaches you can take. Physical activities to reduce mood swings include:
Exercising. Physical activity releases endorphins, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter.
Eating a healthy diet. Increase your consumption of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. Also be sure to incorporate sources of omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.
Avoid triggers. Alcohol and foods high in sugar trigger mood swings in some people.
Get some sun. Sunlight catalyzes the body's production of vitamin D and is also known to help boost mood.
Deep breathing. Take deep breaths to relax your mind and body.
Take care of your body. Be sure to get enough sleep and drink enough water.
There are also many activities that you can do to improve your well-being, such as:
- Maintaining a curious and adventurous outlook on life
- Spending time around positive people
- Helping others
- Showing gratitude
- Being sure to not dwell on the past
Using Mood Enhancers for Mood Swings
In some circumstances - such as in menopause, pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome - a hormonal imbalance causes women to experience mood swings. To help improve mood during these times, it is recommended that women maintain a healthy body and mind. If you are experiencing depression, violent outbursts, or any other drastic emotion for an extended period of time, consult a doctor. A doctor can also prescribe medication if lifestyle changes are not enough to enhance your mood.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Cleveland Clinic. (2015). Is Menopause Causing Your Mood Swings, Depression or Anxiety? Retrieved December 22, 2015, from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/06/is-menopause-causing-your-mood-swings-depression-or-anxiety/
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings". Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.