Having mood swings is nothing to laugh at, especially if they reach the level where your work and social interaction is affected. Some people – those who see things from the outside – may take mood swings lightly, thinking that the person suffering from those swings is just “having one of his fits”, or “it must be that time of the month”. They couldn’t be more wrong. Not only is it irritating, it is also downplaying the fact that the mood swings may have clinical basis.
If you suffer from mood swings, I’m sure you’re nodding your head in agreement.
So, how do we deal with mood swings?
What’s the cause?
The first thing to do to figure out how to deal with mood swings is to identify possible causes.
It could be hormones, and if it’s a passing thing, there’s nothing to do but wait it out or try to be (consciously) less moody. If it’s a chronic issue, then you will want to see a doctor about stabilizing your hormone levels.
It could also be stress. Analyze what you’re going through, why you feel how you feel, and you will find out what is causing your stress. You can then find ways to relieve your stress. You can find tips for this below.
- 15 Ways to Relax Instantly When Stress Hits
- How to Stop Stressing Out When You Know You’ll Be Stressing Out
- 7 Common Habits of the Perpetually Stressed
Another reason could be irregular sleeping patterns. Take note of when you sleep, what time you wake up, and the quality of your sleep. Do this for a couple of weeks and then analyze how regular your sleeping pattern is. Make it a point to sleep around the same time every night and have 7-9 hours of sleep.
Drinking too much alcohol and caffeine can also cause mood swings.
Mood swings may be an indication of a psychiatric condition. If you experience extreme swings that hinder your everyday performance, or long periods of lows and downs, or extreme lows/downs, then you may want to see a doctor for diagnosis.
How to deal with mood swings
Given some of the common reasons for mood swings above, here are some solutions.
Get enough sleep.
“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama
Need to get rid of crankiness? Need to control serious mood swings? Meditation helps, and as the Dalai Lama says, sleep is the best way to do that.
Eat regularly and healthily.
What happens when you’re hungry? I really don’t have to answer that, do I?
More than that, you may need to make changes to the kind of food you eat. There are certain food items that makes depression worse – processed food, fatty food, food with high sugar levels, and more. Food affects our mental condition, so watch what kind of food you eat to help control your mood swings.
Obviously, this includes limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption. I have to admit that this is tricky for me as I “cannot” live without coffee. It’s the first thing I ingest in the morning, and I drink it throughout the day. Realizing how badly it can affect my mood, I have tried cutting back to 2-3 cups from 5-6 cups a day. Probably still not enough, but it’s a start. As for alcohol, I’ve had my years of drinking too much, and it led to serious health problems so I haven’t really had much for years – except a glass of wine or a bottle of beer on special occasions.
Water, that is. This piece of advice, we all know. We just need to actually do it. Drink water first thing in the morning. Always have a bottle of water on your desk so you don’t have any excuse not to drink water throughout the day.
Another often dished out piece of advice, exercising doesn’t need to be justified. It’s good for the body and mind. Period.
The challenge is to find the kind of physical activity that you enjoy, something that doesn’t feel like having your teeth pulled out.
If you enjoy nature and you have a park or hiking trail nearby, why not take walks or bike rides? It doesn’t have to be intense. It’s certainly better than sitting in front of the TV eating potato chips.
If you enjoy swimming, make it a point to go twice a week.
Find a physical activity that you will look forward to, and make it a habit.
Exercising doesn’t mean killing yourself to get fit.
See a doctor.
Are you already doing all of the above and yet still suffer from those darned mood swings? Then I strongly suggest seeing a doctor. If you’re averse to the idea, give it a long and deep think.
What makes you not want to see a doctor? Is it worth feeling helpless for long periods? Is it worth all the damage that mood swings cause? I bet the answer is NO.
Do yourself a favor, and seek help.