Mood swings are characterized by a drastic change in emotion from one side of the spectrum to the other.
For example, if at one moment you are freely going about your day, and the next moment you’re suddenly upset, irritated or hostile – then you may suffer from mood swings.
Mood swings affect both men and women, and can even lead to disruptions in relationships, careers and even physical health.
What Causes Mood Swings?
Mood swings can be caused by a host of varying factors.
For example, spending too much time at work and being away from your family for extended periods of time, can lead to mood swings.
A lack of sleep, eating an unhealthy diet and excessive use of drugs and alcohol can also cause drastic changes in your emotions.
However, when the underlying cause is addressed, mood swings usually dissipate.
Do Hormones Affect Behavior?
Teens experience changes in their hormones during puberty. These evolving hormone systems can wreak havoc on a young person’s brain and cause a change in their behavior.
Women experience mood swings twice as often as men due to circumstances related to their gender such as premenstrual problems, pregnancy and menopause.
In addition to hormones, psychological factors like past mental illness, stress, past trauma, relationship problems and coping with new changes can cause changes in both men and women’s moods. Behavioral factors, like smoking, binge drinking, eating a poor diet, a lack of exercise, and health factors, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, lupus and thyroid disease can also impact changes in men and women’s moods.
How To Reduce Mood Swings’ Symptoms?
By following these four steps, you can ease the strains caused by mood swings.
1. Purge The Bad
Try and identify the moods you experience on a daily basis. Be aware of any negative thought patterns and write them down in a notebook.
Also, begin taking inventory of what currently isn’t working in your life – troubling relationships, health concerns or financial struggles. Write all those down.
To release the emotional tension this may cause, take the pieces of paper with all of the negative patterns and things not working in your life and burn them. As the paper burns, allow the negativity to disintegrate with it as well.
2. Take A Moment To Chill
When you feel your mood begin to change, take a moment to pause, breathe deeply and focus. Center your attention on something in the present, such as the sound of your breathing or the feeling of the wind on your skin.
By focusing your attention on something sensory you can take your mind away from negative thoughts and feelings.
If you feel overpowered during a mood swing and tend to lose rationality, sit down afterward and really think about what happened. Examine the event that changed your mood in relation to your reaction, and come up with a positive way of reacting to the same situation.
3. Seek Balance
Begin to assess all aspects of your lifestyle – your sleep habits, eating habits, etc. and address where you can improve.
Can you get more exercise? Can you get more sleep? Can you eat a balanced diet?
Addressing unhealthy habits can positively impact your mood because you are in control. Nothing can stand in your way.
4. Switch It Up
Find other ways to deal with stress, anger and anxiety. Sometimes the solution is simple like reading a book while listening to classical music, or trying yoga.
Take that improv class you’ve always threatened to attend.
The important thing is making sure that you’re making a change for the better and forgetting about whatever stressors are getting you down.
When To Seek Help?
Even if your constant changes in behavior is due to expected hormonal changes – there is no need to suffer. Treatment options are available to help you regain stability.
If this is the case, talk to your physician or seek support through a professional counselor. There are many forms of therapy that can help if mood swings begin to overwhelm you.