Dealing With Mood Swings

June 18th, 2013

Mood swings can be a normal part of one’s life. One day we may feel on top of the world and later in the same day we can feel lethargic and beaten down or overcome with anxiety. And these normal mood swings may be due to an endless number of causes, just some of which are the side effects of medication, hormone imbalance, birth control pills, caffeine, PMS, pregnancy, dehydration and very often, the everyday stresses of one’s life..

However at times these mood swings can be so severe as to interfere with our functioning in our everyday life. Bipolar disorder is an example of this where we can cycle from being manic to being depressed to the point of being disabled. In cases such as this, professional help should be sought.

And just what are some of the steps that one can take to deal with the relatively normal mood swings of one’s life. Most often this is a “funk” or at other times a period of anxiety from which you are unable extract yourself. Are the stresses so severe that any normal person would be overwhelmed, and if so and how can we change our lives to minimize these stresses which have become unmanageable.

Certainly stress can be a major factor in mood swing. For one thing, you might step back and take a look at your life. Rethink the external pressures that are causing the stresses in your life and are your assumed consequences of certain events appropriate and reasonable

When you are doing your “self examination” consider if you are engaging in polarized thinking where you see things only in black or white, good or bad, or are you able to see the gray in between? Or are you over generalizing or focusing on this one event as a predictor of disaster in your life?

Another factor can be externalization: In this case we may attach false and inaccurate meaning to an external event in our lives. Here again, do some re-thinking and examine if the meaning that you may have attached to this event is valid. You may want to get support of a friend to help in this determination. Re-perceiving events in our lives in a positive or at least neutral framework helps to short circuit the process where as a negative emotion attached a single external event might otherwise creep in and negatively color how we feel about our whole self.

One proven effective method is physical exercise, which may be very difficult to engage in when one is overcome with a down mood. But most often if you can push yourself to do it, the resulting endorphins can create miracles. And believe it or not, dehydration can be a factor, and drinking a sufficient amount of water daily can make a difference.

Doing a “spring cleaning” can work miracles. Clean your closet or your garage. The clutter of your life may be overwhelming you. The process of “cleaning” in itself can make you feel good about yourself. An aspect of this just to stay busy, get out do errands, even go shopping. Take care of some of the details of your life that need taking care of.

Help Someone. Here the time and effort involved in this process of helping another can help you to get outside of yourself. Also the sense of accomplishment is in itself fortifying.

There are no easy answers to the problem of dealing with the normal mood swings of life. The issue of mood swings which can be quite burdensome, but if possible do take some positive action to overcome the swings to “funks’ or periods of anxiety which can envelop any of us at difficult times in our lives.

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