Left unchecked, emotional swings can knock us out for a while.
Many of us have experienced this situation: on a normal day in which we feel good and everything seems to go smoothly, some thought or circumstance appears that suddenly causes our mood to change and we begin to feel bad: sadder or more stressed; distressed or pensive.
If these mood swings occur more frequently, they can condition our relationships and every day. Next, we will see what smoke changes are, what their possible causes are and we will offer a series of keys to better manage them.
What are mood swings?
Sudden mood swings or mood swings consist of a series of emotional swings that appear suddenly and in which the person experiences various emotions in a very short period of time.
In these moments the person can go from a jovial or satisfied mood to deep anguish or intense nervousness without anything happening that causes it directly or consciously.
Emotional instability can cause numerous interferences in the rhythm of daily life of the person, both on a personal, social or work level.
Although these mood swings have usually been attributed to women in greater due, because of the relationship that they have with the hormonal changes of menstruation or menopause, the truth is that these can occur in any sex or age.
There are many, many causes that can cause sudden mood swings. Some of these changes may be due to external factors or events, hormonal changes, or certain underlying mental conditions or disorders.
Some of these causes include:
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Eating disorder.
- Personality disorder such as borderline personality disorder or histrionic.
However, there are many cases or times when it is not easy to determine what caused a sudden change in mood. The appearance and management of emotions is such a variable fact and is affected by so many factors that it is often difficult to know what is affecting us.
Keys to managing mood swings
Although they are sometimes associated with some type of condition, it is completely natural to experience mood swings when a series of events happen to us in our lives that overwhelm or distress us.
Experiencing emotional ups and downs is common, however if we do not know how to handle them or manage them properly, these can end up interfering in our social relationships or in our dealings with other people.
In the same way, they can lead to a decrease in our work performance, since these emotional changes and a low mood can lead to demotivation, apathy and a lack of productivity.
In order to better cope with these changes, we present a series of keys both to control and to avoid these mood swings. And there are a series of keys, strategies or guidelines to follow when we perceive that we are experiencing less emotional stability. These guidelines will help you manage your mood swings once they appear and your overall mood is likely to improve.
1. Establish a series of calming routines
No one better than ourselves to know what things relax, calm or calm us and what others can activate us even more. Therefore, it is advisable to find a series of routines or places with which we can stabilize our emotions.
Routines such as listening to music, going for a walk or having a hot drink can help calm our mood. Once our ideal routine has been identified, we must complete it each time a change in mood appears. Little by little it will become a kind of ritual that will help us more and more.
2. Know when to walk away
Being aware of when our state of mind is interfering with interactions with others is essential. Knowing when our emotions can get to control us is vital to interrupt an argument that we know in advance that we will not be able to face.
Sudden mood swings tend to be more pronounced with discussions, so it’s worth taking a few moments apart and coming back when our minds are clear and our spirits have returned to normal.
3. Think before you speak
This point is closely related to the previous one. Another fundamental key so that mood swings do not dominate us is to stop for a moment to think before answering the other person moved by our emotions.
4. Rest from time to time
In many of the times when we experience sudden changes in our mood or in our state of mind, a good option is to take a few moments to rest and calm the emotional instability.
A change of context or place is useful to clear our ideas. In cases where emotions invade us, it is highly recommended to stop for a moment, count to ten and distract ourselves with anything else that helps us relax.
Exercising increases dopamine levels in the blood. This neurotransmitter plays an essential role in regulating our mood and making us feel better.
However, you don’t need to do a lot of exercise each day. Taking short walks of about 30 minutes can help us manage and contain the negative emotions that can appear during an episode of mood swings.
6. Talk to someone you trust
When mood swings invade us and anguish takes over, it can be helpful to talk to a trusted person.
Expressing our concerns and expressing our feelings to someone we can trust will make us feel better, calm our spirits and, something very important, will make us not feel alone in these situations.
However, if these mood swings appear on a recurring basis, it is best to go to a psychologist or mental health specialist in the medical field who can help us.
Writing about our feelings can be of great help when it comes to venting, putting our ideas in order, and being aware of what circumstances trigger or facilitate these changes.
If we also record these changes daily we can be much more aware of our fluctuations, know what causes them or if there is a certain pattern of behavior. In this way it will be easier for us to anticipate them and, as far as possible, to avoid them.
8. Know what causes us mood swings
Although on many occasions we are not aware of the stimuli or events that alter our mood, it is advisable to know what situations, seasons or stimuli can have an effect on our mood.
For example, if we know that sudden changes in mood can appear during premenstrual syndrome, it will be somewhat easier to handle them.
9. Seek professional help
Although these mood swings are normal and can appear without being associated with any type of mental or emotional condition, if they occur repeatedly, they can seriously interfere with our day-to-day lives.
In addition, feelings of anguish can intensify and, if we do not learn to manage them, mood swings can appear more and more often. Therefore, it is important to seek professional help and have a specialist in psychology or mental health guide us and help us manage these ups and downs.
- Thayer, Robert E. (1989). The Biopsychology of Mood and Arousal. New Yok, NY: Oxford University Press.
- N Dubey, JF Hoffman, K Schuebel, Q Yuan, PE Martinez, LK Nieman, DR Rubinow, PJ Schmidt & D Goldman. (2017). Molecular Psychiatry volume 22.