Natural Remedies for Mood Swings - Causes and Prevention Strategies

Mood swings are a roller coaster of rapid changes in mood, sometimes with major changes especially on the negative side. Such mood swings are disruptive and cause depression and in extreme cases a bipolar type disorder.

Symptoms of mood swings include irritability, feeling down and out, various levels of depression, tiredness, lack of motivation, lethargy and insomnia.

Some mood swings are triggered by hormonal imbalances but they are often caused by some event, self-reflection or fatigue.

Regular recurrent mood swings leave people unable to cope, unable to think clearly, unable to react to stress, emotional and cause depression and lack of motivation.

Treatment of serious case has traditionally involved drug therapy, which is beyond the scope of this article.

Understanding the cause of milder forms of mood swings, has shown that home remedies involving diets, herbs and exercise, and changes in life style and mental attitudes are very beneficial for many people.

Learn more about how to take control and get off the roller coaster of swinging moods.

Mood Swings can be a Roller-Coaster Ride unless you take control
Mood Swings can be a Roller-Coaster Ride unless you take control | Source
Mood Dice - Which one is it to be Today - toss and see what pops up
Mood Dice - Which one is it to be Today - toss and see what pops up | Source
Moods are like masks that shape our external demeanor
Moods are like masks that shape our external demeanor | Source
Our moods bounce off our friends moods, swing and collide against each other
Our moods bounce off our friends moods, swing and collide against each other | Source
Mood masks at the extreme ends of the swings
Mood masks at the extreme ends of the swings | Source

Types and Intensity of Mood Swings

Relying on standard drug therapies without examining the underlying cause is simply alleviating or masking the symptoms.

Efforts to identify the causes and triggers of mood swings and to remove or modify them is a better approach. Prevention is better than treatment.

A focused effort on diet, mental attitudes, motivation, exercise and addressing hormonal balance is likely to be a more effective long-term solution.

Key Features of Mood Swings

Mood swings are universal - Everyone has them, they are a fact of life.

It is the frequency and extent of the swing and how we cope with them that is important. There is a sense that mood swings can reinforce each other, like a child trying to swing higher and higher. If the cause is not dealt with the swings can reinforce each other and get larger and more damaging. Most people's mood swings remain in the mild to moderate range of emotional ups and downs perhaps related to events, emotions and simple bouts of tiredness and disappointments, self-criticism low self esteem.

The duration of mood swings varies - Sometimes they may last for several hours, others can last for several days or even weeks. Such episodes may feature emotional swings between euphoria and depression and euphoria within and between these episodes.

Common Causes of Mood Swings

  • All Forms Of Dementia
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Brain Tumors
  • Chemical Imbalance
  • Depression
  • Head Injury
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty
  • Side Effects Of Medication
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse

Causes of Mood Swings

Usually mood swings occur because if the motions involved in dealing with stressful times and unexpected events or situations in the pattern of life.

Usually there is a more or less obvious trigger.

In other cases it can arise because of secondary causes that pull your emotions into a negative state.

These secondary causes can be related to

  • insomnia and inadequate sleep,
  • fatigue generated by stress and over-work,
  • bouts of low self-esteem,
  • poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles,
  • feeling sorry for your self,
  • poor concentration and focus,
  • and drug or alcohol use.

Some of the major causes of more serious mood swings are shown.

Remedies for Milder Types of Mood Swings

For major mood swings, resulting in severe depression you should see your doctor and perhaps consider drug therapy or other strategies and program. The same applies for mood swings associated with menopause and hormonal imbalance.

For milder mood swings the following remedies have help many people:

Vitamins and Minerals to Alleviate Mood Swings

Taking regular mineral and vitamins such as the B group vitamins can keep your moods on an even keel. It is better to boost your vitamin and mineral intake via changes in diet, but supplements are effective as a temporary measure. Some of the more important nutrients are:

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • B Group Vitamins B5, B6, B12, and folate
  • Vitamin C

Many people have found that taking a regular B-complex supplement can reduce and prevent mood swings.

Eating the Right Foods to Prevent and Control Mood Swings

Mood swings can often be triggered by poor diets. Eating foods high in sugars and carbohydrate can cause major pulses and peaks of sugar in the blood, followed by rapid falls. This can cause swings in mood from euphoria to depression. Bouts of overeating can cause depression, independent of what is eaten, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Controlled portion diets that are rich in protein and complex carbohydrates such as legumes and whole grains and foods with high fiber contents tend to keep you feeling 'full' for longer periods and avid the blood sugar peaks and troughs that are associated with change in moods. Fresh green vegetables, beans, whole grains, peas, lentils and peanuts can help eliminate mood swings. Vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin, tomatoes broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are know to boost the functioning of the liver and can stave off mood swings. Fresh fruit is a better snack between meals than cookies chips, biscuits and energy bars.

Exercise, Lifestyle Changes and Physical Activity as a Remedy for Mood Swings

There is a lot of research in support of physical activity as a remedy for mood swings and depression. It helps reduce blood pressure, relieves stress, improves self esteem and improves overall health. Relaxing techniques such as meditation, yoga or massage therapy can also be very effective. Changing you lifestyle can also be very effective in creating a more positive outlook and getting you out of a rut. Boredom can sometimes trigger depression.

Positive Affirmation and Proactive Control of Emotions

Everyone experiences frustration, regret, disappointments, anger, jealousy, hurt and bad events that tarnish their lives.You can't stop them happening, but you can change the way you respond to them. Some of these tips are helpful for many people

Act brave and resilient on the outside and this will often lift your spirits on the inside as well. Stand tall, smile and let you eyes sparkle.This often helps you to feel positive and strong on the inside. You will also receive more positive feed-back from your friends and colleagues which will help lift your spirits.

Focus on one step at a time and don't be impatient and get frustrated with unreal expectations. Stop being hard on your self because you are not the CEO of a major corporation. Keep a list of your achievements and you planned pathway for improvement.

Deal with the Big Picture and put small failures and set backs into the right context. Negative feelings and low self esteem can cause you to exaggerate the small set-backs and to magnify them necessarily.

Don't walk around in a dark cloud expecting bad news or happenings. Don't fill the void of not knowing what will happen or your unknown future by expectations of bad news. Prepare for negative outcome, but remain positive not expecting the worst all the time.

Don't externalize things by turning simple things into false meanings and causes. To externalize is to extend something beyond its original borders. If your friend says you should lose weight,you are probably overweight and these is nothing more to say. Don't feel that your friend is criticising you for having no self-control or no self-respect. Instantly you may be in a bad mood and blame you friend for criticising you when all they were doing was suggesting that you lose some weight.

Be a doer rather than a spending too much time thinking about it. Sometimes taking action is better that spending a lot of time endlessly thinking about it. Acting positive is better than thinking negative. Actions will often drag your mood out of the doldrums.

Help someone else. This does tow things it shifts your attention away from your own problems and it provides a sense of accomplishment. You will also benefit from the gratitude of the person you have helped.

Best Herbs for Controlling Mood Swings

Dietary changes are generally beneficial, but some herbs can boost the benefits. The herbs most commonly recommended are:

  • St. John's Wort
  • Ginseng
  • Black Cohosh
  • Rhodiola Rosea
  • Green Tea
  • Chamomile
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Winter Cherry
  • Ginger

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 6 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

This is a most interesting hub. I never thought of myself as having mood swings..Sometimes when something happens I get bothered by it and can even obsess, but rarely for no reason. However, I do know people who go into changes of moods in a short period of time. Excellent job. Voting up and sharing.


khmazz profile image

khmazz 3 years ago from South Florida

This is a great hub! Wonderful tips and information! Voting up! :)


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 3 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

I like your common sense approach to handling mood swings, and think that this could be a very useful hub to many people. Voting up and useful.


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 3 years ago from Northern California

I agree with you that food is key. Pumpkin seeds are so great to have in the car when one might be out and about and can't be eating regularly. They really hit the spot.


Spongy0llama profile image

Spongy0llama 3 years ago from Canada

Thanks for this. Some of this I already knew, some I didn't. I'm glad my problems are never particularly severe or permanent. All of these tips help me keep my slips under control.


Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 2 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I suffer from bipolar and are on medication, but I find that diet and nutrition can supplement the medication for better results, do your tips are good to follow except for the herbs that might clash with the medication such as St. Johns Wort. So if you do your homework before starting a nutrition plan for mood swings diet and nutrition can really compliment the medication.

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