Thursday, April 18 2024 - 2:51 AM
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Mood Swings

Mood swings. Who can understand them? Who can predict them? How do we justify them? And yet they exist. Here are some of the most common causes of mood swings:

  • Hormone imbalance. Pregnancy, menopause, and times of illness can turn us into monsters, whether we want to be or not.
  • Unexpected circumstances/changes in daily routine. Unexpected circumstances/changes in daily routine.
  • Unexpected financial woes or abrupt changes in routine can throw us for a loop.
  • Reaction to everyday stresses. Women often struggle to deal with everyday stresses in a healthy way. They allow their moods to control their reactions and end up being overwhelmed, and give in to the temptation to always respond out of moodiness.
  • Exhaustion. Physical exhaustion is one of the leading causes of mood swings. When our bodies aren’t rested and refreshed, we can’t function at optimum level. Twenty-first-century women often overload and tax their physical bodies, which naturally leads to stress and moodiness.
  • Food allergies/poor nutrition. What we eat has a lot to do with how we act. Eating too many sweets, for example, can cause us to “bottom out” later on. Food allergies are a major contributor to poor moods as well.
  • Improper nutrition (or lack of adequate vitamins) can throw our systems off track. Watching our diet can—and will—improve our moods.
  • Illness. Simple things, such as colds, allergies, and chronic muscle pain, can cause moodiness to flare. When we are at our weakest physically, our emotions often respond by sending us into seasons of despair or moments of anger.
  • Lack of exercise. A consistent exercise routine will help immensely, even if it’s just a simple walk or a low-impact workout.
  • Feeling unattractive. Many women are moody because they lack self-esteem or self-worth, and many allow these kinds of feelings to force them into a lifestyle of overeating or even seclusion.
  • Medications. Many medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) can cause mood swings. Read the paperwork carefully before taking something you’re unsure of.
  • Grief. Naturally, periods of grieving affect our moods. There are very real, legitimate stages of grief, and each of us must walk through them in our own way.
  • Clinical depression. Work schedules, managing the home, raising children, and dealing with finances can all lead to periods of moodiness and self-destructive behavior. What might begin as a “season” could turn into months, or even years, of battling your own emotions.
  • Psychiatric disorders (bipolar/manic depressive disorder). While many Christians may argue that such conditions don’t exist, others continue to struggle not only with their mental diseases but with the opinions of well-meaning friends and family who don’t understand their distress. Those who are truly struggling with psychiatric problems need our love, support, and assistance.

Work It Out

Is it possible to control a mood swing? In many cases, yes! Not only can we”get through” our moody times—we can conquer them, with the Lord’s help. First, we can ask Him to show us what is at the root of the problem. Then we must recognize that the Lord cares about our moods, our attitudes, our emotions. More important, He proclaims that we can be overcomers. In Him we are more than conquerors! Take authority in His name and declare that moods are not going to control you—you can, and will, control them.

But how? How do we begin to take control of something we often can’t even put our finger on? Acknowledge that a problem exists. We must research our own bodies, schedules, attitudes, and reactions, and then take action.

Here are some of the ways to face mood swings:

  • See your doctor for a full physical to rule out any medical/hormonal problems. After diagnosis, make all the necessary changes to improve and maintain a healthy balance.
  • Take illnesses seriously—even the ones that seem insignificant. Take care of yourself during those times, and don’t put undue pressure on yourself. Learn to delegate responsibilities to others in your family.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Rest during the day as much as possible. Learn to recognize your body’s warning signs, then immediately begin to relax. Ironically, we have to “work” at resting, but taking the time to do so will drastically change moods from dark to light.
  • Medication side effects. If any of them cause ups or down, see if your doctor can substitute something else. If you must be on a medication that causes your moods to change, learn to recognize the when and where of the problem so that you know how to counter them better in prayer and with good nutrition.
  • Watch your diet. Be careful to consume enough of the four basic food groups in the right quantities. Start the day off right by eating a good breakfast. If blood sugar is a problem, eat several smaller meals a day to assure that your body has a fair shot at keeping up.
  • Exercise. Getting the body moving is a terrific remedy for reducing stress. When you’re at your wit’s end and feel as if you just can’t take it anymore, go for a long, brisk walk. Pop in that exercise video for a quick workout. Join a class at your local gym or YWCA. Exercise will not only lower your blood pressure; it will also boost your energy level, which will give you the strength to get through the day.
  • Find help in a good friend, a confidant, a support group, or a counselor. Don’t let it continue.
  • Seek professional help. There are qualified Christian psychiatrists and psychologists who stand ready to help in many different ways. Don’t let the various opinions of well-meaning loved ones prevent you from taking action.
  • Praise the Lord! This is the most simple, practical way to overcome any stresses or moods you might be facing. Turn your attention away from your own problems and sing spiritual songs in your heart. Offer up words of praise. You’ll be amazed at how this prescription can change your circumstances in an instant!
  • Claim the promises. Paste Scripture texts on your computer, refrigerator, and bathroom mirror as reminders to look to God for peace in the middle of life’s storms. When moods begin to shift, find appropriate scriptures to cling to.

There’s Hope!

Mood swings can interrupt our lives and cause us to vacillate from hot to cold in an instant. They frustrate our friends and family, who are often at a loss to help us through them. If you’re having a moody day, swing into action. Acknowledge the problem, look for a cause, and approach the dilemma head-on. With Christ on your side, you can and will overcome! Here are some scriptures to help in times of stress:

Unexpected circumstances/changes in daily routine. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof” (Psalm 46:1-3).

Reaction to everyday stresses. “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Psalm 16:8, 9).

Exhaustion. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:1, 2).

Physical problems. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined until me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 24:9).

Grief. “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (Psalm 3:3).

Clinical depression/psychiatric disorders. “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower” (Psalm 18:2).

When you need a moment of praise. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:7). “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever” (Psalm 30:11, 12).

Written by Janice Thompson.

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About Janice Thompson

Marie Florence

Janice Thompson

writes about taking charge of your health.

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