Millions upon millions of Americans suffer from mood swings. A good number take prescription pills to deal with their situation, while others follow non-medication methods to deal with mood swings. Whichever the case may be, there is no ignoring the fact that mood swings are one of the most common psychological disorders in the country.
What exactly are mood swings?
The term “mood swings” is often used too casually, in the sense that the normal changes of emotions that every human being experiences can be mislabeled as mood swings. Every person undergoes emotional surges, especially when external factors or triggers are present.
People who suffer from real mood swings, however, can easily go from happy to sad or vice versa even without any trigger. Some swings can be triggered by specific factors, but individuals who have mood swings have a more difficult time recovering from the changes in emotion. In some situations, the mood swings can be so severe that they hamper an individual from going about their daily lives.
If this is the case for you, then it is necessary to take steps to deal with your mood swings. There are facilities like the University Behavioral Health of Denton, a private freestanding psychiatric hospital specializing in mental health and chemical dependency care, which can help you understand your mood swings and control them. Let us take a look at some recommended habits that can help limit your mood swings.
Habits that can help limit your mood swings
Identifying probable causes and triggers.
While people with this disorder may not see any cause or trigger, there actually may be deeper, underlying reasons for recurring mood swings. A good habit to develop is to observe and identify possible triggers when you experience a mood swing. What you can do is to keep a log of when your mood swings occur and then list down things that are happening in your life at that moment.
According to a UBH Denton representative, doing this can help you understand what may cause your mood swings, and this leads to avoiding those triggers, thus limiting occurrence.
Regulating your diet.
Diet plays a significant role in some cases. It is thus a good habit to take note of what you eat and how it interacts with your mood. You can include these details in your “mood swing log” as described above. While different people will have different issues with food, some of the most common items you should avoid in your diet are caffeine, alcohol, excessive sugar, fastfood, and packaged meat products.
Getting regular exercise.
Regular exercise is good for everyone, but it is even more necessary for people with mood disorders. Physical activity stimulates your brain, making it produce chemicals that are natural mood boosters. Try simply taking a 30-minute walk twice a week, and you will see how that limits your mood swings.
Training your brain to avoid “polarized thinking”.
What is polarized thinking? It’s basically seeing things as black or white, without realizing there are shades in between. People with mood disorders may reach a point where they lose touch with reality, seeing only the worst things when they are at a low point; and, when they on a high, they may overlook the “bad” that needs to be dealt with.
The solution is to train your brain to get out of that thinking pattern. Train yourself to remember that you do not have to see all black when you are at a low – it is just a low period, and you will feel better at some point. Otherwise, your mood swings may get worse and even develop into clinical depression.
A very important thing for people with mood swings is to realize that it is okay to seek help. As a UBH Denton representative explains, “It’s important for people to identify when they need help and seek that help out when necessary. People often come to us slightly embarrassed, especially when it comes to mood swings. They think it is something that is easy to control, but the truth is, without having the right information available to you to utilize mood swings can be debilitating.”
Feeling embarrassed to admit that you have a mood problem is normal, but you have to realize that professionals who deal with psychological conditions are there to help. They know what to do, and before you know it, you won’t feel any embarrassment talking to them at all.
Once you take this step, you have to make it a habit to regularly see your therapist. Mood swings are not solved in one sitting. It is a process, and you have to make a commitment to go through it.
“Mood Swings may seem unpredictable, but armed with the right information and skills, individuals can deal with them easily, efficiently, and discretely. It’s important that people understand there are reasons for mood swings and there are strategies to help cope with them in a way that will better your mood, and all the relationships around you.” ~UBH Denton representative
Mood swings are nothing to be ashamed of. If you have this condition and it is hampering your ability to function normally, you should not hesitate to take the necessary steps to learn more about it and solve it. At the end of the day, when you seek help, you will find the support you need.
Originally posted on July 24, 2014 @ 5:46 am