One moment, you're singing to yourself, anticipating what a good day it will be. A minute later, you're ready to pull your hair out. It's your first menopausal mood swing of the day and you're not looking forward to the next few hours of emotional ups and downs. Fortunately, there are simple techniques you can use to help stabilize your mood throughout the day. Skip the potentially damaging hormone therapy and follow these six steps to find a happier you during menopause.
Take a look at your sleeping habits and any habits that may be preventing you from getting sufficient sleep. If you suffer from night sweats or sleep apnea, for example, this could be causing you to lose the rest that you need, especially during menopause. Maintaining a good mood becomes more difficult if you are not well-rested.
Physical activity makes your body produce endorphins, the brain chemicals that lift your mood. Try to do half an hour of exercise at least three days a week. Each workout you do can help improve your mood.
Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine
Cigarettes and caffeine are stimulants that can provoke mood swings. Instead of drinking coffee or sodas, drink a glass of warm milk. It has tryptophan, a chemical that stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain and keeps depression at bay. Whole grain breads also contribute to your serotonin levels.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Replace your bad habits with activities like meditation and yoga that produce much-needed endorphins. Relaxing will help you reduce stress - a common cause of mood swings.
Talk to Your Friends
It sounds simple, but talking about your problems with other women who are experiencing menopause can make you feel better. Spending some time with your friends will also boost your mood.
Laughter has been scientifically proven to ease pain and produce more endorphins by increasing oxygen flow to the brain. In addition, it pulls your body out of a state of stress by raising your pulse, then winding it down.
Estrogen is a regulator of serotonin, which balances our moods. When there is an imbalance of estrogen in the body serotonin is affected and mood swings can result. However, there are other natural ways to boost the body's production of estrogen and serotonin to regulate mood.
Click on the links below to learn how you can fight menopausal mood swings.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- 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.