HOW TO MANAGE YOUR MOODS
We all have them. Those out-of-nowhere shifts in mood that can often blind side us and those around us.
An instantaneous moment where the gloves are thrown off and we are ready to pounce. Frustratingly, it’s usually something small and irrelevant that can set us off.
Confession time: If there is a long gap between when I finish a yoga practice to eating a meal, take heed – you must tread carefully. The drop in blood sugar leaves me foggy and irritable… which means, my friend, that my fuse is short and I have trouble maintaining perspective, calm and clarity. Considering that I know this insightful fact about myself, you can be sure I don’t let that happen.
Managing our moods is definitely a combination of becoming more aware, reframing our perspective and harnessing different tools/experiences to keep us emotionally/mentally/physically in balance.
For women, there can often be a deeper issue at play – an imbalance in hormones can wreck havoc – like a cyclone tearing through a small town in a matter of moments. Only to leave as quickly as it showed up. If after reading this post you suspect something greater is at work here when it comes to your moods please get in touch with a Naturopath asap! Hormonal imbalances are not something to ignore.
Moods + How To Manage Them
1) Self-sabotaging guess work
How many times have you ‘filled in the gaps’ on an important issue that you actually don’t have the full facts on? You’ve been waiting to hear back from ‘that’ guy you met on the weekend, he hasn’t texted yet (it’s Sunday night), so you have moved into assumption mode:
“Maybe he’s just not that into me?”
“I’m not pretty enough”
“He’s seeing someone else”
Seriously, unless you are psychic can you leave the guesswork for a few moments? Unless, that is, you are actually trying to send yourself into downward spiral and into a mood. If so, go nuts!
Solution: Stay present. Be in the moment – nothing is wrong in the here and now, is it? Maintain some perspective my love. The only thing YOU get from the guesswork game and for listening to those voices in your head is a big, old, stinking mood. Yep, you brought that on for yourself. Which means you have a choice. Choose clarity in the present moment.
2) No movement means bad moods
Exercise isn’t recommended simply because we can get a rockin’ bod – we need movement for our mental health. Endorphins (happy hormones) are releases, brain function increases, stress is reduced, self-confidence soars. We are talking a more balanced mind-body-spirit, which in turns lessens that dramatic swing between moods.
Solution: Need I say more? MOVE! Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Walk, Jog, Run, Swim, Train… choose your poison. Be mindful not to overdo it too – exhaustion leads to some heavy moods too!
3) Drinking poison
Ok, a little extreme, but sometimes I feel like alcohol IS poisonous. Personally, I’m not a big drinker, but my husband loves a good drop of red. So I get it – I understand the LOVE (read: obsession) people have with the bottle. But if you are honest with yourself, does it really make you feel perky, bright, calm + clear-headed the next day? Naaah. Me? I’m a light-weight and I don’t do so well with the sugars and preservatives in booze – one glass is ok, just. Anymore and I feel foggy and pissed-off the next day.
Fun fact: An emotional state marked by Anxiety and Stress called Dysphoria kicks in when you start drinking, which only worsens as you continue.
I’m also going to throw this in to the mix: if you are a hardcore coffee drinker then you might need to consider that caffeine might be your ‘poison’… 1 cup a day, sweet. 2+ hmmm, 3 or more? Um, maybe not!
Solution: Again, stating the obvious here, but cut back on poisoning your body (so often). If you have noticed that you are feeling a little moodier than usual take a look at your alcohol and caffeine consumption. Experiment with it – try for a week or so reducing your intake. Feel any better?
4) Monkey mind = mood swings
Imagine being stuck inside a confined space. There are somewhere between 60 – 80,000 people in there with you. Each talking, out loud. Each processing something they see, hear, read. Each rehashing the same minute details, plans and situations. Each one reliving the past or dreaming of the future.
Sound familiar? No? Well, it should – it’s what is going on in your head for most of the day. Yes, we have somewhere between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day. Many of the them the same as the day before or the minute just gone. Repetitive, insane, chatter. Monkey’s in your mind.
I don’t know about you, but simple writing that out has made me irritable! No wonder some of us have a short fuse – we never have a moment of stillness
Solution: Breathe, let it all go, be still. Meditate my love. Make the commitment to stillness this year, if you haven’t already. Do you want clarity of mind, a connection to your own soul, a flow of creativity, oh and a little respite and peace? You know what to do!
P.s I have an exciting new project in the works, launching early March, that will bring Meditation to you! Jump on mailing list below to be the first to hear about it.
5) Overreacting leaves you over it
‘Calm down and stop being so sensitive’. I used to hear that phrase ALOT back in the day. A highly strung, highly stressed little pocket rocket… I was always the first to react to bad behaviour, social atrocities and bad news with such fervour and intensity. Man, it was exhausting!
Part of what makes me who I am (and maybe you too) is that passion + sensitivity, but honestly, I was channeling it in all the wrong directions. It was leaving me depleted and wasted and then, add to that how freaking upset I would get when someone would tell me to ‘calm down’.
Overreacting is actually a heavy weight to carry – the energy of that behaviour and attitude stays with you for hours after you’ve ‘worked yourself up’ into a right flurry. Adrenals pumping, nervous system firing… the result – your wired up little self gets depleted and a mood swing is just around the corner.
Solution: Remember, you are not meant to fight every battle. Make a different choice based on how you’d like to be in that moment and for the rest of your day. Get some perspective on what you are reacting to and ask yourself a few leading questions:
Is this something I truly need to ‘react’ to?
Why do I feel the need to respond in this way?
Who’s corner am I fighting here?
Is there a better way to handle this?
6) You are what you eat
I feel silly even mentioning this one, but food is EVERYTHING. Yep you are a divine, spiritual being rocking it out on planet earth IN A DIVINE HUMAN BODY. We can’t forget the weight and importance of that last point. Feed your body sugar, junk, refined carbs, soft drinks and whatever else you can think of that doesn’t come direct from mother earth then expect an unhealthy body and mind.
Food affects your ‘everything’… don’t be fooled into thinking that your moods are not linked to what you feed your beautiful body. Your brain and gut absorb nutrients (or lack thereof) from the food you eat. Those nutrients then ensure everything from your organ function, mental capacity, physical body and even emotional states are working as they should. Eat junk, accept that you will experience the same in mind-body-spirit.
Solution: Keep it clean: fruits, veggies, high quality animal protein, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, grains, superfoods. Click here for my recent blog post on clean eating.
Managing your moods requires a shift in how you think and perceive the world. Thankfully, you can also create profound changes simply by cleaning up your diet and lifestyle.
Your turn: Finish this sentence: “The best way I know how to manage my moods is ______”
I can’t wait to read your comments below!
love + light,
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