M ood swings are common often due to stress or because of hormonal changes that affect your levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). Everyone responds differently to these changes. Some people experience heightened emotions, both good and bad; others feel more depressed or anxious.
There is a reason they are called mood swings — they can swing to exhilarating highs and down to depressing lows.
I'm irritable all the time; I find myself flying off the handle at the slightest provocation.
Talk it out. Pour out your feelings and thoughts and let them express their own — just putting your concerns into words often helps dissipate them.
Bond with those who matter. Spend quality time with people who matter and nurture your relationship. Strengthen your connection now so you can really be there for one another in times of lows and well as highs.
If you're single, nurture your relationship with your friends and family. It'll provide vital support.
Is food a contributing factor in my mood swings?
It can be — follow these basic guidelines to better control the extreme highs and lows.
Keep your blood sugar up. Low blood sugar — caused by long gaps between meals — can lead to mood crashes. Eat frequent, smaller meals comprising carbohydrates and proteins, six times a day (instead of three), for longer lasting blood sugar and sustained mood highs.
Avoid a sugar rush. Limit the consumption of simple sugar and caffeine. Chocolate, candy, soft drinks, tea and coffee will give your blood sugar a quick spike — but bring you down equally fast.
Eat regularly. Remember, eating at regular intervals will make you feel better physically and emotionally. This could help in moderating your mood and providing the all-important nourishment for your body and mind.
How can I manage my mood swings?
Try to remind yourself that emotional upheaval during periods of stress is normal, and make a conscious effort to nurture yourself to help keep you on an even keel.
Is ‘It's time for I, Me, Myself!' selfish? It's not! This is probably the only time in your life when you can put yourself first without feeling guilty.
Do the things that make you feel good. Curl up for a nap, soak in a warm bath, go for a walk, get a massage, or watch a movie with a friend. Taking time alone to do something just for you is sometimes the best pick-me-up.
AT HOME Resist the urge to pack in as many chores as you can. Sometimes daily chores can feel like drudgery at this time. Pampering yourself when possible is an essential part of taking care of yourself.
AT WORK Avoid taking on extra work now. If you think your mood swings are difficult to cope, take time to relax and energise yourself positively.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Feel your breath moving through your body from the top of your head down to your toes. Feel each breath bringing you nourishment and energy. Feel your breath rising and falling within you and relax totally.
“If music be the food of love, play on” wrote Shakespeare wisely. Listening to soothing music will certainly help calm those frayed nerves.
Embrace this time to experience the more natural healing approaches to common minor health concerns.
Take the time to relax, eat well, drink plenty of liquids and get regular exercise.