Happy, sad, ecstatic, anxious. Mood swings are complex, incomprehensible, and varied. Yet, to the person afflicted by them, the mood swing-set is never a fun ride. There are, in fact, many types of mood swings out there, each with their own initiators. Learn which is which so you can tackle these emotions without feeling horrid.
Mood swings are a veritable rollercoaster of emotional mayhem
The name may be simple enough, but it is not solely a pendulum moving back and forth between smiles and frowns. Mood swings are a veritable rollercoaster of emotional mayhem, and these unpredictable emotions are actually never the person’s fault.
Some people experience mood swings because of a mental disorder. Others can blame their physical health. The moods you are affected by say a lot about what is going on biochemically and psychologically. Mood swings are also not always rapid. Some happen over the course of a few hours as your energy wanes.
To check which kind of mood swing you are having and what may be going amuck in your system, find your symptoms below:
1. Unfocused, fuzzy, unproductive mood?
Too much cortisol, the stress hormone, in the blood does heavy duty damage on your mood. Sleep deprivation, anxiety, a change in environment, or other stressful situations suppress the neurotransmitter named serotonin, which, you know, effects your emotions. Dramatically. Two other factors that cause sudden brain fog are a sedentary lifestyle and depression.
Depression, as those who suffer from it will know, can strike like lightning. One moment you are on top of the world. Next, you are an amorphous blob of sadness.
To fix your mood: Being active and sleeping right are two easy fixes to both too much cortisol and depression. Getting some exercise outside, for example, will boost endorphins and serotonin levels.
Or, release some stress with a yoga or kickboxing class. In turn, you will feel more alert and stimulated. Try to stay away from caffeine for a while, as too much caffeine may exacerbate the sudden onset of brain fog and can worsen depression.
2. Irritable, going-to-rip-someone’s-face-off mood?
Maybe you are just hungry? Or maybe you have some unchecked aggression issues that are getting provoked? If it is the first, then it is no wonder you feel rabid. When you blood sugar drops, irritability is one of the potential side effects. Think about your eating schedule and if you have been denying yourself enough calories throughout the day.
Anxiety and anger-management issues can also cause irritability, especially when you subconsciously feel like you have been backed into a corner. Women with PMS symptoms may exhibit this type of mood swing too.
To fix your mood: First, try eating foods with a low glycemic index that will have some staying power (think sweet potato, oatmeal, and seeds). Next, work on getting some mood boosting foods on the menu, like MUFAs, PUFAs, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. When it comes to anger management, a satisfying diet will help. But, consider hormonal levels and past traumas too. If that seems to be the case, speak with a doctor or therapist.
3. Sluggish, apathetic, and tired mood?
Your thyroid may be to blame. When the thyroid feels funky, so do you, especially when the hormones it releases throughout the day are not being adequately regulated. You may have trouble sleeping, be losing or gaining weight, have poor digestion, and a dismal mood.
If you have a history of autoimmune diseases in your family, you may want to get checked by a doctor. Another alternative to the thyroid is a gastrointestinal tract devoid of beneficial gut flora. Without this healthy bacteria, you cannot get absorb food correctly.
To fix your mood: The good news is that a malfunctioning thyroid can be helped with a decent diet and exercise. Reducing hours of inactivity is a start. Next, add some iodine to your diet. The best sources of natural iodine are seaweed like kombu, kelp, wakame, and spirulina.
Should you feel that you are suffering from GI tract issues, a quick way to rejuvenate the gut flora is to drink some probiotic fluid like kombucha or kefir and to eat plenty of non-sugar-laden, non-GMO yogurt with live and active cultures.
4. Uncontrollable, unforeseeable, always shifting mood?
The true winner of the mood swing battle would be the one that knows no common ground. Your mood is a scatterplot with no correlation. When this mood swing strikes, you go from up, down, sideways, and into a vortex that may even frighten those caught in the crossfire.
This is a tell-tale sign of bipolar disorder, where you experience impulsiveness, irritability, anxiety, sadness, and utter depression within mere minutes before becoming a bubbly rainbow.
How to fix: Therapy mixed with some complementary and alternative therapies (CAM, for short) will help. Meditation, for starters, can teach you to channel equanimity. Furthermore, meditation can work alongside cognitive-behavioral therapy measures to hold moderate the symptoms of the disorder. Try some aromatherapy, too. Essential oils with relaxing scents, like lavender and chamomile, can soothe the mind and let you settle down.
There is no single cause to a mood swing. No one should assume that those affected by them are just experiencing whacked out hormones, as other issues may be at work. You are the only person who can determine what the cause of the mood swing is, based off of how you feel when the mood occurs.
Many mood swings can be treated by adjusting your circadian rhythms, eating nutritious foods, and working on light CAM therapies. If you feel that your mood swings are not caused by nutrient imbalances or hormones, do seek help from a doctor or therapist, as they can better assess the underlying cause.