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Whats Really To Blame For Your Bad Mood
Lack of patience, irritability and feeling like crying for no particular reason...sound familiar? Bad moods can seem to come on with no warning, bringing with them a complexity of emotions. They often leave you feeling depressed, frustrated or just plain angry. Perhaps the worst thing about bad moods is the damage they can cause to close relationships. Would you want to be around someone who is constantly lashing out or bursting into tears for no apparent reason? Well what if that person is you?
It’s natural to experience negative emotions every now and then. In fact, reacting with sorrow or frustration to a negative situation can be healthy and appropriate in the right setting. However, some bad moods aren’t simply the result of an unfortunate event. Sometimes a bad mood comes on because you choose to feel that way, but that means you can stop yourself from getting into those kinds of moods.
For example, do you ever find yourself so agitated that you want to tell off an annoying coworker? Are you all too often feeling listless and grumpy in the middle of the day? If so, then lack of sleep could be to blame. Sleep is what regenerates you, both physically and mentally.
Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are overall less satisfied with their lives. They tend to be more irritable and suffer more bad moods. On the other hand, those who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night regularly report feeling more contented and able to take on challenges more effectively.
Lack of sleep alters people’s moods leaving them vulnerable to stress, anxiety and impatience. When the body hasn’t had enough rest it’s more difficult to remain focused, to exercise and even to make healthy food choices.
Just how much sleep you need depends on several factors including your age and activity level. A safe amount is seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try doing relaxing activities before bed. Winding down first can make it easier to fall asleep. Avoid watching TV or looking at your phone in bed. This will keep you from losing track of time and staying up too late.
You may also feel cranky when your body is simply not getting the proper nutrition it needs. The food you eat is what fuels the body and mind. Don’t put junk in your body and expect it to run well. Bad diet choices can have numerous negative effects on your health, including bad moods.
In addition, if you eat a lot of sugary foods, you might feel a short burst of energy or a sugar high, but ultimately your body will have a sugar crash. Sugar causes a rise in blood glucose which in turn causes an insulin spike. Once glucose levels return to normal, energy levels can plummet which can lead to grumpiness and fatigue. Keep in mind high levels of sugar aren’t limited to just deserts. Read labels carefully and limit any processed foods high in sugar.
You may also experience agitation when drinking your favorite caffeinated drink. Do you continuously drink coffee or soda throughout the day to boost your energy level? Most avid coffee drinkers consume more than a cup per day. Soda drinkers can consume anywhere from twice to ten times that much. Caffeine is a stimulant and it’s easy to get addicted to the quick boost it gives you. Each time you indulge, however, you affect the adrenaline centers of your brain, triggering anxiety and irritability.
Being hungry also makes you irritable, therefore, avoid missing meals. Eating every four to five hours will help your blood sugar levels remain steady. Steady blood sugar levels help stabilize your mood.
Did you inherit your bad mood? It may sound silly, but some people believe they inherited from their parents a tendency to get into bad moods. Temperament can be tricky. On one hand, some people do inherit tendencies towards depression or anxiety. These are real conditions that require more than positive thinking to treat. However, some bad moods are simply from conditioned responses, often created during childhood.
Conditioned responses are learned responses to a stimulus. For example, if you were stuck in an elevator you might develop a fear of riding in them. This is a conditioned response. Children learn how to react to stimulus from witnessing and imitating adult behavior. If you grew up with a moody adult who responded to situations with fear, frustration or anger, it may still affect your moods today.
There is good news in that realizing your bad moods come from conditioned responses is the first step in overcoming negative responses and learning to react more positively.
It’s common to blame bad moods on hormonal changes in the body...especially for women. Previous research in the effect of hormones on mood suggested a connection between estrogen and depression. However, a more recent study suggests that hormonal swings play more of a role in mood than estrogen levels.
Women aren’t the only ones who are subject to hormone cycles that may affect mood. Men may also experience hormonal changes that affect their moods. For example, testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day and can change every fifteen to twenty minutes. Men might be subject to negative feelings or bad moods that come in uncontrolled cycles and leave them irritable, depressed or flat. The verdict is still out on just how much influence hormonal cycles have over mood in women and in men.
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