For a moment we are happy and another second we feel sad, sometimes happy and sometimes totally mad, right? Does that fluctuation bother you? Don’t worry, all these are mood swings and are totally normal.
What are mood swings and how to identify them?
Mood swings can be defined as continuous shifts in feelings, emotions or behavior of a person. Mood swings cause irritation, anxiety and can act as a barrier in the normal functioning of a human being. When all of a sudden we’re not feeling the same, or are being irritated by small things easily, it may be a mood swing causing all of it.
There are many causes of mood swings which we will discuss later in this article but first let’s focus on the major topic related to mood swings these days that is mood swings during this whole coronavirus pandemic.
Mood swings during the lockdown:
The year 2020 has been a little harsh for all of us. COVID-19 pandemic has led to huge rise in stress levels these days which is not only affecting our daily lives but also controlling our mood. Mood is dependent on our inner and outer environment which has lately been a bit tough to make sense of. Stress of work from home, adjusting to new systems, modification in daily patterns and digesting all new changes has been challenging.
We’ve been feeling anxious and negative which is causing sudden mood shifts hampering our equilibrium. We are trying to keep ourselves positive by distracting our mind and engaging in some activities but still somehow, our mood is largely controlled by the current situation. Every problem and every sudden change has its origin and reasons and if we can identify them we can grapple with it.
So, let’s divert our attention towards the cause of such mood swings.
Causes of mood swings –
We often feel like our emotions are all stacked up, and we don’t have space to breathe properly, that overwhelming feeling can be defined as stress. Stress is caused by stressors that are present in our environment; they are different for all of us. Different types of stressors can trigger different types of stress which can be psychological, physiological, social, etc.
Stress can be one of the main causes of mood swings. If we are disturbed mentally due to any incident or situation just like this whole pandemic, or we are suffering from physical pain or any health issue we may behave differently, which can be a bit confusing for others around us and also ourselves.
- LISTENING TO NEGATIVE WORDS:
It may seem minor but what’s very important to consider is that, language or words that you listen to largely determine how you feel throughout the day. Taking in account the current situation, for e.g. during this whole lockdown we have been bombarded with news and facts that had warning and caution signs which triggered the tension of being safe in our minds thus, making us panic more, and panic itself contributes to bad mood. In short, we can say that feeding our mind with positive words can help sustain a good vibe and a good mood.
Boredom for long hours or doing absolutely nothing but just lying down on the bed and surfing through social media can induce a feeling of guilt in us which can further shift our mood very easily. Staying productive is very important to maintain emotional balance in our life. We’ve seen recently how the disturbance that is caused by pandemic has led to alarming rates of stress levels and you may have noticed a change in mood of people around you.
- OUR EATING HABITS:
Just as food is the source of our physical energy it also plays a role in the stability of our emotional state. Disturbed eating patterns or not eating healthy food, munching on junk food all day long and not having a balanced diet can cause health issues and leads to irritated behavior of a person and further can be a reason for mood swings.
- WORK RELATED STRESS:
We all strive to complete our daily tasks to earn a good living. It is not surprising that working, jobs or career are somehow a source of stress. Overload, lack of support, conflicts between employees are sources of work-related stress and specially in a situation like the lockdown, it has been a havoc to manage jobs and communicate through available means of communication to continue work; such situations irritate us and lead our normal functioning to bad moods.
- INTERACTING WITH IRRITATED PERSON:
Moods can be highly contagious. We have all noticed that when people around us are not happy we somehow lose our vibe, or if we are not in a good mood we divert others’ attention towards us. Keeping in mind this point, we should try to maintain a balance in every situation and strive not to purge our irritation on others around us. If we are facing some conflict we can ask for help in a kind manner and we should also endeavour to be caring towards a person who is already suffering from a bad mood. We can especially catch these instances nowadays during the pandemic. Staying at home is causing depression and tension which can spread bad mood from one person to another. So, remembering to stay positive and being kind is very important.
Just like these points there are many small things that can make our mood swing from one point to another and can have multifarious effects on us. So, let’s enumerate some effects of mood swings.
How do Mood Swings affect us in our day to day life?
Just like its causes, mood swings can affect us psychologically, physiologically, and socially too.
- Mood swings can bring abrupt changes in our mental health and if not overcome properly, can lead to depression and mood disorders.
- Mood swings act as a barrier in proper physical functioning at times and can disturb various systems of life such as eating and sleep patterns.
- Further, if we talk about the social effects of mood swings it can be observed that people who are irritated and are constantly in a bad mood often lead to aggressive conflicts.
How to manage mood swing?
- Enumerate your level of stress and try to get out of it:
As mentioned above, stress is one of the main reasons for mood swings so keeping a check on your mental health is very important.
Some tips to identify your stress:
- Give yourself a reality check, “what is the likelihood of this situation to happen?”
- Make a plan. What would you do if the worst possible scenario were to happen?
- Remind yourself that you are smart and capable to deal with it.
- Remember that it has a solution and you will win this battle.
- Make physical workout part of your routine:
Lack of physical activity is another reason for mood swings as it causes feelings of guilt, hence adding a bit of exercise to our daily routine can help in overcoming this feeling. It is also beneficial for health, both mentally and physically as it regulates blood flow and relaxes muscles which gives a feeling of relaxation and can help overcome irritation.
- Plan your work schedule:
Pre-planning your timetable for work can help in time management and will not become a reason to stress out if we stay determined to follow it.
- Having a balanced diet:
Eating healthy food gives our mind and body positive energy and keeps us active and more alert to be conscious about our thoughts. Only if we can manage our thoughts well, can we sustain a healthy mood.
- Keeping a check on your environment:
Clean and healthy environment is a crucial factor affecting our mood, not just physically but also psychologically. People we interact with, or what we watch or we listen to play a major role in development of our mood.
- Adding positive activities to our routine:
Exercises like meditation and some breathing exercises can help us overcome bad mood swings as they help in gaining control over our senses providing us a healthy and balanced thought process.
In conclusion, mood swings are quite normal and are experienced by every human being. They have certain causes which can be both external and internal and can be kept under check by following certain techniques. There are many ways and remedies to control our mood swings and can help us function in a better manner.
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