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Do's and Don'ts of Coping with Menstrual Mood Swings

What you feel uncontrollably inclined to do during menstrual mood swings is likely the exact thing you should avoid. When your emotions are all over the place, your decisions may be altered in a negative way. You will find that acting in an uplifting and inspiring manner is the best approach to improving your feelings, while destructive behavior will clearly only worsen your irritability. Read on to learn what to do and what not to do when you are experiencing menstrual mood swings.

Do's and Don'ts of Coping with Menstrual Mood Swings

Do

1

Stay active

Although you may not want to go jogging or get into yoga pants during your period, you will be happy you did. Exercising balances your body and mind. If you are feeling sad or stressed, remaining sedentary is not going to help.

Movement releases endorphins, which inspire feelings of happiness and ward off painful emotions. Yoga in particular increases your levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which soothes your entire body with tranquility.

2

Keep creative

Painting, writing, gardening, dancing, or cooking becomes increasingly important if you are having a mood swing episode. Expressing yourself through art - any art form - provides extreme relief from unpleasant emotions.

Write about how you feel, paint it away with vibrant colors, cook something deliciously aromatic, or reorganize your room; each of these can reduce grief. If you are feeling too fatigued, close your eyes and listen to uplifting music.

3

Drink herbal tea

Lemon balm for happiness, cardamom for irritability, and lavender for relaxation - tea is the key! While caffeine can provide a temporary burst and result in an emotional drop, herbal teas are caffeine free and keep you level. The flowers and leaves have mood balancing aromas and flavors that you can truly savor. Other great plants to mix in your tea are ylang, St. John's wort, valerian, milk thistle, and chamomile.

Don't

1

Blame others

When mood swings occur, the nearest person may become your target. You may be irritated by everything your friend says, tell off your partner, or even cry alone and blame yourself. This will only increase negative emotions. Instead, be open about how you feel. Seek love from others instead of trying to make them feel guilty. Talking it out is healthy and will bring you closer to those around you, melting away sadness.

2

Stay inside

Although you may be tempted to stay locked in your room to ride out your sporadic and intense feelings that is not always the best option. Going outside will provide you with mental stimulation, rather than leaving you to be trapped in your head with worry. It is also mentally healthy to see bright colors, get fresh air, and feel the sun beating on your head. Spending time in nature can be the best therapy there is.

3

Abuse substances

Smoking cigarettes, drinking large quantities of alcohol, and taking synthetic illegal drugs can be extremely detrimental to your mood. These will give a temporary burst of euphoria, but it is extremely short lived and will hurt much more than help.

Though you may find yourself looking to these substances for relief, they will only hinder your body and brain's ability to maintain mood levels. Also, you may want to, after speaking to your doctor, stop taking antidepressants or other prescription drugs that have mood swings as a side effect. Read the labels carefully to make informed decisions.

It is hard to act completely rationally when a mood swing comes about, but if you keep these tips firmly in mind and practice them regularly, your mood swings will be less overwhelming. When you lead a positive lifestyle and keep yourself in check with healthy decisions, then everything will be okay.

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Sources:
  • Grohol, J. (2007). All about Mood Swings. Retrieved on January 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/all-about-mood-swings/000920
  • Rowe, G. , Hirsh, J.B. & Anderson, A.K. (2007). Positive affect increases the breadth of attentional selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(1), 383-388. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0605198104