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What are mood swings and how to manage them
Experiencing a fluctuation of emotion for long periods is known as a mood swing. Some indications that you might be going through mood swings are extreme low moods for an extended period of more than two weeks, signs of feeling ups and downs, and the inability to explain why you feel a certain way.
“There are many different reasons why someone might be experiencing mood swings, and there could be varying triggers that have caused them,” says Angie Amonett, Therapist at Centerstone. Mood might change due to adjustments in your diet, trouble in sleep schedule, stress, weather, substance use, or trauma. It is important to pay attention to patterns in behavior because abnormal behaviors might indicate that something is going on.
There might be a concern present when your mood interrupts your daily functionality, and it might be helpful to try and reflect on your recent behaviors. “If your symptoms begin to interfere with day-to-day activities, it might be time to reach out for help,” says Amonett. You may not know that you are experiencing symptoms, but you can ask yourself questions like, Have I experienced any physical changes in my body or the way I behave? Have I recently felt stuck in my mood? Have my experiences become harder to deal with?
Mood swings might be difficult to manage but here are some steps you can take to help ease them:
- Talk to your doctor. “If your mood swings become harder and harder to deal with, it might be time to talk to your primary care physician and see what they recommend. There is help out there for you,” says Amonett. It’s important to go to your doctor to rule out anything physical that might be going on.
- Therapy. Once the physical aspect has been ruled out, consider seeking treatment to help you through your mental health struggles. Treatment through therapy is another useful tool to learn better coping skills and ways to process the emotions that you experience through your mood swings.
- Social Support. Staying socially engaged with friends and family is extremely important. Try to avoid isolation and stay in contact with a trusted individual. Having these connections will make it easier when you find yourself more likely to get depressed or anxious.
- Adjust your diet. Try to take the time to adjust to healthier diet options. Food is fuel, and eating junk food too often might impact your mood, and increase fatigue or other physical symptoms. Do research and try to find healthy alternatives that appeal to you.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise is good for you, and it’s important to get movement where you can. That doesn’t mean you have to do heavy lifting at the gym, but maybe try to go for a walk every day. Integrate exercise into your routine to ensure you are taking the time for your health.
- Make time for sleep. Getting good sleep is imperative to your health and daily function. Sleep is a time to recharge your body, and when you get too much or too little sleep you are not allowing your body to get what it needs to function. Make time in your schedule that allows you to sleep for the recommended seven to eight hours each night.
Managing your mood swings might be a difficult process, but you are not alone. Reach out for help when you notice the signs and encourage others who might be struggling to do the same.
If you or someone you know needs assistance managing mood swings, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.