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Manage Mood Swings

Tips for an overall healthy life, including emotional health, are as follows:

Health tips, # 1: Exercise regularly. Physical activity prompts the body to produce those feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins and boosts serotonin levels to improve mood naturally. Research shows that exercise - both aerobic and strength training - can reduce and prevent depression and improve PMS symptoms. Currently, most experts recommend getting 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.

Health tips, # 2: Eat well. Many women eat too few calories and follow diets that are deficient in vitamins, minerals and protein. Others don't eat often enough, so their blood sugar level is unsteady. Either way, when your brain is in a fuel-deprived state, it is more sensitive to stress. Eating five to six small meals a day that contain a good mix of carbohydrates - which can raise serotonin levels - and protein may smooth out rough emotional edges and mood swings.

Health tips, # 3: Take calcium supplements. Research shows that taking 1,200 milligrams of calcium carbonate daily reduces PMS symptoms by 48 percent. There is also some evidence that taking 200-400 mg of magnesium may be helpful. Less proof exists to verify that vitamin B6 and herbal remedies such as evening primrose oil work for PMS, but they may be worth a try.

Health tips, # 4: Write in a journal. Keep a journal in your briefcase or tote bag, and when you're upset or angry, take a few minutes to spew. This is a safe way to vent your emotions without alienating others and useful in managing mood swings.

Health tips, # 5: Breathe. Chase panic away with mini relaxations: Take a deep breath to the count of four, hold it for a count of four, and slowly release it to the count of four. Repeat several times.

Health tips, # 6: Have a mantra. Create a soothing mantra to recite during a difficult situation. Take a few deep breaths and as you release them, tell yourself, "Let this go," or "Don't blow up."

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