Updated: Dec 18, 2019
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You’re having a great day, you’re feeling good about yourself and enjoying other people’s company when suddenly: boom! All of that changes, you feel terrible and for no apparent reason your day is ruined.
You’re having a great day, you’re feeling good about yourself and enjoying other people’s company when suddenly: boom! All of that changes, you feel terrible and for no apparent reason your day is ruined. Too many of us suffer from mood swings, most often caused by hormonal changes, mental illness or problems in your body. They can be debilitating and serve to worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s obviously something you want to avoid if possible and there are various options depending on the source of your problem.
Solutions for hormonal mood swings
Hormones can wreak havoc in our bodies if we are not in a state to accommodate them easily. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can cause women a great deal of misery in the days leading up to menstruation. Some women experience debilitating emotional and physical pain during this point in the cycle for longer periods of time than other women. This can be due to a condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which causes much worse symptoms compared to PMS, which all women are likely to experience.
However bad your mood swings are, it isn’t a nice experience. It can make day-to-day tasks more difficult than they usually are and cause a strain on relationships with others. Luckily there are some ways to tackle hormone-related mood swings. Here are some tried and tested ways to find relief.
1. Exercise is an effective way of levelling your mood when your hormones want to take you on a rollercoaster ride. Although it is probably the last thing you’d consider when you just want to curl up in bed, it will be worth the effort. First of all it will take your mind off any PMS symptoms. On top of that the increased oxygen intake will help your blood to circulate and reduce any stress you might feel. This will, in turn, reinvigorate your lymphatic system that helps reduce bloating. The endorphins you release during exercise will be the most effective means of improving your mood and help you lift yourself out of the dumps.
2. Healthy eating can also improve your mood and combat lows. Choose foods that are high in slow-release energy like bananas or whole grains such as quinoa, rice or bulgar wheat. These are high in carbohydrates that are essential for feeling happy. Cook yourself up a tasty meal, using vegetables for the added benefit of vitamins. Iron is especially important as you need more of it during menstruation, and magnesium is known for functioning like a natural antidepressant. Remember to consult your GP before making any dramatic changes to your diet and avoid unhealthy fast foods, especially ones high in additives and E numbers because these will send your mood plummeting after a short-lived high.
3. Certain herbal teas can also help, by improving digestion and reducing bloating. Chamomile is known to calm and improve your sleep, while Peppermint is great for digestive problems or gas.
4. Supplements, essential oils and herbal remedies can also help to improve your mood. Asking a doctor or naturopath on which ones you may need is good to double check. It is common to experience mood swings due to deficiencies in magnesium, iron and omega 3 which can be found in oily fish. Some women find that taking evening primrose oil can help with PMS.
5. If your mood swings remain unbearable it is a good idea to seek the help of a doctor. They might offer hormone therapy in extreme cases, or provide you with contraceptive pills that can sometimes alleviate the symptoms of PMDD.
Poor health or diet
As already mentioned, your diet is integrally connected to your mood. Avoid processed foods containing additives because these can destroy your mood. Make sure you eat a balance of different types of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Certain studies have found that people who eat fresh greens are less likely to experience depression.
If you are not eating healthily or struggle to exercise enough, your physical fitness will also cause changes in your mood. So ensure this doesn’t happen by eating well and exercising regularly - this doesn't have to be anything too difficult! A nice walk in the park will do, and remember you can always make exercise fun. Dancing with friends or cycling to a nearby attraction can get your heart-rate up and keep you happy as well as healthy.
Combating mental health-related mood swings
To a certain extent you can avoid the lows and highs of mental illness through self-care, good diet and exercise. But in some cases, for example if you are suffering from bipolar disorder or depression, this alone will not suffice. Your best chance of help is to visit a mental health professional or doctor and seek their advice. Your mood might be low due to problems in your life that won’t go away by increasing your vitamin intake.
There can also be the need for talking therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling. Others do find that medication can really help them. Some people do find this be a difficult process of trial and error, but with the support of a good doctor you will eventually find what suits you.
Whatever the cause of your mood swings, don’t lose hope and keep fighting till you find the solution that matches your needs. There are so many possible remedies and treatments out there. You just need to look until you find the right one.
Big healing hugs! You got this