We all have days where we wake up on the ‘wrong side of the bed’. We get up and it feels like everything is overwhelmingly negative. Little things; like stubbing our toe on the wardrobe door, discovering that we have no milk for our coffee, getting stuck in traffic and ending up late for work, all add to our view of the day until we feel like the whole world is against us. But that’s not really true. It’s our mood that frames our view of reality.
There are times when we can’t understand why we feel a certain way. We may find ourselves feeling angry and frustrated for no reason when the day is going really well. The smallest thing could set us off into floods of tears out of nowhere. After a busy week, when we should be pleased it’s the weekend, we may feel completely down in the dumps.
We spend our lives interpreting our reality and framing events with our feelings at the forefront. It’s so important to try and understand the reasons behind why we feel the way that we do so that we can gain clarity and pull ourselves out of negative moods when we need to. If we can’t explain where are moods come from, that’s when we may need to seek further help from a medical professional.
In today’s blog we’re going to look at some ways that we can start to gain some control over our moods. Understanding why we feel the way that we do at certain points in our lives can help us gain clarity and control of our emotions whenever we feel like we’re overwhelmed by them. So let’s dive in and see if we can find some strategies for mood control.
Healthy Diet and Vitamins
When feeling the effects of mood swings or mood imbalances, it’s important to take a look at our diets. We may have a deficiency somewhere that is making our moods radically shift, particularly as we grow older. Our cells depend on the right vitamins and nutrients to keep them functioning correctly and produce the hormones we need to keep our emotions balanced, such as serotonin.
Important vitamins such as B12, B5, B6 and C help to reduce stress and balance our nervous systems. Taking a good daily multivitamin or supplement can help to eliminate extreme moods and reduce the occurrence of mood swings in many people. It’s also important to speak to your doctor to see if you have any deficiencies in your iron levels as a lack of iron could be a symptom of anaemia, making you feel tired and cranky.
A healthy diet is key for controlling our moods and managing our hormones. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates such as legumes and whole grains can help increase the production of serotonin in our brains, making us feel happier and keeping our moods more stable.
Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and Brussels sprouts are great for boosting liver function. Our livers in turn help balance our estrogen levels, minimising mood swings and helping us to maintain emotional balance. Unfortunately, it’s important to stay away from caffeine, alcohol and sugary snacks when experiencing mood swings (even though our instinct is to run towards them) as these foods can put undue stress on your liver and increase your mood swings!
Regular exercise can reduce our blood pressure and improve our ability to cope with stress, as well as improve our overall health. When you’re feeling stressed and emotional, sometimes the best thing you can do is go out for some fresh air and a long walk and it’s probably the best thing for you to get your mood under control. Stretching exercises and weights can also help us to work off nervous energy and calm ourselves when we’re feeling especially irritated.
Meditation is also a particularly good de-stress tool to have. We use apps like ‘Calm’ to help us unwind after a particularly stressful day. Meditation is great for clearing your mind and can better equip you with the coping techniques you need to master when experiencing strong, fluctuating emotions.
Journal Your Emotions
Identifying your emotional triggers is essential when trying to take back control of your moods. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, write it down. Have a think about the circumstances that have led you to feeling the way you do.
Write down the interactions you’ve had with others. How have they made you feel? Have they contributed to your mood? Is there anything that could have gone differently in your interaction with them?
It’s also handy to keep track of your diet. The foods you eat (or are not eating) could be having an effect on you too so take note, particularly if you’re suddenly feeling overcome by extreme emotion for no reason you can clearly identify.
We hope that the above advice is useful to you and can help you to start taking back control of your moods. Remember, we all go though changes in our bodies as we get older and what they needed when they were young, may be very different to what they need now. If you need help and support then don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. Your moods are yours to control and if you’re not finding that easy then take the first steps towards getting back on track today.