Hello Ladies! Blessing here with another She Health post..
Photo: Via Pinterest: by Marco Barchesi
We’ve all had (or know someone) who has mood swings. One moment you’re happy and the next you are furious and you don’t know why. Mood swings can be linked to uncontrolled, unmanaged stress, too much sugar, a sedentary lifestyle and sleep deprivation. All these things trigger the release of cortisol which affects the function mood hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
- Get enough sleep.
Everyone is different and you may only need 6 hours of sleep while someone else needs 8 hours. Find out how much sleep you need to feel refreshed, alert and ready to face your day. Not getting enough sleep and sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress levels and increased levels of cortisol; which raises your risk of mood disorders and chronic diseases like high blood sugar, diabetes and stroke.
High levels of cortisol can interfere with the way neurotransmitters and hormones control mood. People who are sleep deprived are more moody, irritable, unable to focus and anxious when compared to people who are not sleep deprived.
Have you noticed how strong your cravings are for processed foods rich in simple carbohydrates like cookies, cake and ice cream after a stressful day?
Your body burns through serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affect mood. Serotonin gives you a feeling of wellbeing and when you are chronically stressed, the body depletes serotonin stores. The body will then trigger carbohydrates cravings to help replace the serotonin that was used.
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bed
You should avoid drinking alcohol and stimulants like caffeine at least 4-5 hours before bed because these drinks will trigger the release of cortisol. Cortisol makes you more alert and when cortisol levels are high, melatonin (sleep and relaxation hormone) levels are low and it is harder for you to get to sleep. Alcohol and stimulants, like caffeine interrupt REM sleep. REM sleep is a phase of deep restorative sleep that you need to recharge after a long day.
The most cost effective, yet most overlooked mood booster and stress reliever is exercise. We have all heard about the benefits of exercise: it reduces the risk of chronic disease, increases your quality of sleep and releases endorphins that boost mood. Regular exercise is not just good for your mood it improves heart health and reduces your risk of depression and dementia. You can pick the type of exercise you want to do (make sure you enjoy it) and work out 3 times a week for at least 45 minutes.
- Avoid Processed Sugars
Have you experienced the afternoon, after lunch slump? You feel sluggish and find it difficult to focus on work. Then you try to boost your energy with a candy bar or cookies from the nearest vending machine. It works for an hour or two and then you crash again. Did you know that you feeling or sluggishness and your inability to focus are linked to low blood sugar levels?
Eating processed sugars as an energy pick-me-up is a short term solution that will increase your risk of chronic disease and may even add to your mood swings. Instead of eating sugary processed foods eat protein or fruit. Protein slows down the absorption of sugar in the blood; giving you energy over a period of time. Fruits have natural sugars that are paired with fiber which also slow down the absorption of sugar.
- Be Grateful
Being content and practicing gratitude reduces any stress and anxiety that you may feel after comparing yourself to someone else. Being grateful allows you to embrace and experience what you have instead of stressing out and worrying about what you don’t have. It lowers cortisol levels in the body which leads to lower blood pressure, improves your quality of sleep and reduced stress.
In order to eliminate mood swings you need to incorporate stress management, gratitude, exercise and avoid alcohol and stimulants before bed. In order to eliminate mood swings for good you have to be intentional; especially when it comes to exercise, diet and self care.
What is your go to when you’re in a bad mood?
Photo: Via Pinterest: by Marco Barchesi