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What are the Best Tips for Controlling Mood Swings?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Jan 29, 2024
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The best tips for controlling mood swings are to recognize what tends to cause the mood swings in the first place and to try to minimize them as much as possible by making some lifestyle changes. Some people experience frequent mood changes due to a mental illness such as depression or bipolar disorder, and these can sometimes be managed through medication as well as psychotherapy with a mental health professional. Otherwise, one of the best methods for controlling mood swings is to try to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise to prevent them, and then try to take deep breaths and stay calm if a mood swing occurs.

Many people find that controlling mood swings is made more difficult if their diet is poor or if they are not getting enough exercise. Eating sugary, fatty foods can lead to feelings of depression, and they can also cause rapid swings in blood sugar which frequently contribute to mood changes. In addition, getting regular exercise helps the brain to release endorphins, which tend to elevate and help stabilize the mood; exercise can also be a great way to relieve stress and let off steam after a frustrating day. In addition, other factors such as lack of sleep or alcohol abuse can also contribute to mood swings, so be sure to get a regular six to eight hours and cut back on alcohol if it seems to be having an effect.

Controlling mood swings in the moment can be more difficult. Some people find that getting up and leaving a stressful situation if possible is one of the best ways, rather than lashing out at anyone else. Taking deep breaths and counting to ten may also help to diffuse feelings of sadness or anger, or even just trying to think of a positive mantra for getting through a sad or difficult situation. It may be a good idea to think of this mantra ahead of time, and keep it written down somewhere that is easy to quickly look at. Others may listen to favorite music or go for a walk.

Sometimes, a longer break is needed for controlling mood swings. Some may discover that they are simply overtired and overworked, and need a longer break. If possible, a day off work or even a short vacation can be a good way to feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work. In addition, some people find that herbal or vitamin supplements can help to stabilize mild mood swings; this is something that may be discussed with a doctor or nutritionist.

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Discussion Comments
By MrsPramm — On Jan 17, 2015

@Ana1234 - I think that diet and exercise should be the first port of call for most people when looking to control mood swings, but they aren't always the main factor. Huge amounts of stress can contribute, as can birth control or other medications, or something biological like a hormonal disorder.

This is why counseling is important, because people need to identify what is causing their own individual problem. Until they do that, they can't fix it effectively.

By Ana1234 — On Jan 16, 2015

@umbra21 - I find that to be true of mood swings and depression, but no matter how reasonable I am about them when they aren't there (or are very mild) I can't seem to get a grip when they are there.

I have found that I really do need medication to keep my moods level and get any kind of normal life. Without the medication, I spend half the time crying and the other half convinced that I'm on top of the world and never need to work again.

Diet and exercise definitely help as well, but I simply can't get to the point where they are able to help without a boost in the right direction and they aren't enough by themselves.

By umbra21 — On Jan 15, 2015

I have found that the most important aspect to controlling my mood swings is to be able to recognize when they happen in the first place. It's so hard to be in the middle of a mood swing, and feeling like everything in the world is against you and to understand that what you're feeling is temporary. It always feels like a revelation, as if the true nature of the world has suddenly become clear and that's what leads to dangerous behavior.

Mostly now I just try to keep my behavior in check but let myself feel whatever I happen to feel.

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