Coping With Mood Swings: 3 Helpful Strategies

Do you ever feel like your emotions are on a rollercoaster, soaring high one moment and plummeting to the depths the next? If so, you’re not alone. Mood swings are a common experience that can significantly disrupt our daily lives, impacting our relationships, work, and overall well-being.

But there’s good news! You don’t have to let your mood swings control you. By incorporating three powerful strategies into your life, you can learn to manage these fluctuating emotions and create a sense of calm and stability.

Key Takeaways

  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques to reduce stress and promote calmness.
  • Make lifestyle adjustments and prioritize self-care to manage mood swings.
  • Seek professional support and therapy to gain a better understanding of underlying causes and learn coping strategies.
  • Engage in calming activities such as yoga, meditation, walking, or other hobbies to shift focus and encourage relaxation.

1. Cultivate Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

To manage mood swings effectively, practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. By practicing mindfulness, you can reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath, observe your thoughts without judgment, and ground yourself in the present moment.

Additionally, incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help you control your mood. Engage in calming activities like yoga, meditation, or going for a walk. These activities shift your focus and encourage relaxation, allowing you to better cope with mood swings.

If you struggle with managing your mood swings, it may be helpful to seek guidance from a mental health professional. They can provide you with coping skills and strategies tailored to your specific needs.

2. Prioritize Lifestyle Adjustments and Self-Care

Make sure to prioritize self-care and make necessary lifestyle adjustments to effectively manage your mood swings. Taking care of your mental and physical health is crucial in finding healthy ways to manage your mood and improve your overall well-being.

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Mood swings can greatly impact one’s day-to-day life. Making certain lifestyle adjustments and incorporating self-care strategies into one’s routine can help stabilize mood and manage symptoms. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Making good lifestyle choices may help keep mood swings in check, especially if [bipolar disorder] is also being treated with therapy and medicines as needed.”

Establishing structure through consistent daily routines can alleviate stress for you. You should try to wake up, eat meals, and go to bed around the same time every day. You can schedule activities that require deeper focus earlier when your energy levels tend to be higher, which can set you up for success. You can build in ample time for self-care like taking relaxing baths, journaling, or meditating. You should say no to nonessential tasks that drain your time and energy. Maintaining balance through routines and breaks provides you with stability.

Adjusting your communication styles during mood episodes can also minimize their impact. You should identify triggers that often correspond with your manic or depressive states. Finding substitute phrases to replace reactionary language prevents inflaming situations unnecessarily in moments of extreme emotion for you. You can openly communicate needs with loved ones so they understand how best to support you. Setting healthy communication expectations that accommodate your swings cultivates stronger relationships for you.

The key is tailoring changes unique to your needs and abilities. “Make changes gradually…breaking big goals into small steps can boost the chances that the changes you make will stick and potentially improve mood,” Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends. With time, the right lifestyle adjustments and self-care regime helps you manage mood swings.

3. Seeking Professional Support and Therapy

If you have been struggling with mood swings, it’s essential to seek professional support and therapy to effectively manage your emotions and improve your overall well-being. Seeking professional help can provide you with the tools and guidance you need to navigate the ups and downs of your mood swings.

Here are three reasons why seeking professional support and therapy can be beneficial:

  • Gain a better understanding: A therapist can help you explore the underlying causes of your mood swings and provide you with insights that can help you manage them more effectively.
  • Learn coping strategies: A therapist can teach you coping mechanisms and techniques to regulate your emotions, helping you navigate difficult situations with more ease.
  • Receive personalized support: Therapy offers a safe and supportive space to express your feelings and concerns, and a professional can tailor their approach to your specific needs.

Seeking guidance from a licensed mental health professional can provide effective coping strategies tailored to your unique needs. Counseling equips individuals with valuable skills to promote stability and self-care.

Professional mental health services are offered through various convenient mediums, including:

  • Telehealth Platforms: Websites like BetterHelp and TalkSpace facilitate private video, phone, and text messaging therapy sessions. These online services expand access to care.
  • Local Clinicians: Search provider directories through PsychologyToday or directly contact community mental health clinics, hospitals, and university counseling centers to inquire about availability and payment options based on income.
  • Support Groups: In-person and online support groups hosted by reputable organizations create judgment-free spaces for sharing advice.
  • Emergency Services: Mental health crisis hotlines supply 24/7 support, risk assessment, and guidance to appropriate local treatment centers. Utilize these resources in moments of acute emotional distress.

below are social groups and non-profit organizations that offer mental health support services

  1. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – NAMI hosts free in-person and online peer support groups and mental health education programs.
  2. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) – DBSA coordinates in-person and online support groups specifically for individuals with mood disorders.
  3. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – ADAA offers online support communities and expert-led webinars about anxiety and depression.
  4. Mental Health America (MHA) – MHA provides online screening tools, blogs, support communities, and trainings about boosting mental health.
  5. Active Minds – Active Minds empowers student-run mental health clubs and awareness programming on high school and college campuses.

Pursuing mental health treatment enables individuals to process challenges, discover insights, and progress towards stability. Seeking solutions is a sign of strength. Support is available through various pathways when one decides to take the first step.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Helps With Mood Swings?

There are several helpful strategies and treatment options that can help stabilize mood swings:

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Get enough sleep – Lack of sleep can worsen moodiness. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  • Exercise regularly – Aerobic exercise and yoga can level out mood swings in some people.
  • Healthy diet – Eating regularly and limiting sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake can prevent energy and mood crashes.

Stress Management:

  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness. Reducing stress can help smooth mood fluctuations.
  • Maintaining work/life balance through proper time management skills and breaks. Don’t overextend yourself.

Social Support:

  • Confide in trusted friends and family who can listen and offer feedback without judgment. Feeling connected can ease moodiness.
  • Join a support group of others experiencing similar conditions to help cope.

Professional Treatment:

  • Medications – Mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics and some antidepressants can be effective, under a doctor’s care.
  • Psychotherapy – Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are two proven options. Developing coping skills through counseling can teach people how to self-regulate better day-to-day.

Tracking moods in a journal can also help uncover patterns and triggers unique to each person. Over time, putting in place some of these self-care practices and support systems helps many people better manage cyclical changes in mood and temperament.

How Do You Deal With Someone With Mood Swings?

When dealing with someone experiencing mood swings, it’s important to be understanding and supportiv. Dealing with someone who has extreme or frequent mood swings can be challenging, but there are some strategies that can help:

  1. Remain Calm – Try your best not to get caught up in their emotional whirlwind. Stay grounded and be a stabilizing presence. Don’t mirror their moods.
  2. Set Healthy Boundaries – You can’t control their moods but you can control how much you engage. Set limits when things get abusive, destructive or too demanding.
  3. Ask Questions – Gently inquiring about what might be influencing their mood can help them gain some self-awareness without sounding accusatory.
  4. Practice Empathy – Even excessive moods often have an underlying cause or trigger. See if you can understand where it may be coming from.
  5. Encourage Treatment – Therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, etc can all help manage mood swings. Support them seeking appropriate treatment.
  6. Take Care of Yourself – Their ups and downs can impact you too. Make sure to practice plenty of self-care when needed.
  7. Avoid Triggers – Learn what topics, environments or interactions tend to spark more episodes and try to minimize unnecessary triggering.
  8. Be Patient – Progress takes time. Stick with positive reinforcement and don’t expect overnight change. Offer encouragement.

The keys are remaining anchor in the storm, having compassion but also proper boundaries, and supporting positive progress through professional treatment or lifestyle changes when appropriate.

What Are Examples of Mood Swings?

Mood swings can vary from feeling ecstatic one moment to feeling down the next. They can also include irritability, anger, and sadness. It’s important to identify triggers and develop coping strategies to manage them.

Here are some common examples of mood swings:

  • Extreme Happiness to Irritability: Going from feeling incredibly happy, upbeat, and optimistic to feeling irritable, critical, and unhappy over minor things within a short period of time.
  • Calm to Anxious: Quickly switching from feeling relaxed and calm to feeling very anxious, nervous, and worried about things that normally wouldn’t cause stress.
  • Motivated to Fatigued: Having periods where you feel energized, focused and motivated to work on projects or tasks, followed suddenly by feeling completely drained of energy both mentally and physically.
  • Sociable to Withdrawn: Being very talkative and outgoing with friends/family one moment, then abruptly wanting to be left completely alone.
  • Content to Depressed: Going from feeling satisfied and emotionally content to feeling very sad, empty and depressed within a few hours or days.
  • High Self-Esteem to Self-Criticism: Experiencing shifts between two extremes of confidence – like frequently alternating between overtly praising oneself and harshly criticizing oneself.

The intensity and durations of mood swings can vary greatly, but they typically involve very sudden and unpredictable shifts from emotional “highs” to “lows” that can be difficult for the person and their loved ones to manage. Getting an evaluation from a mental health professional can be helpful to understand what may be contributing to frequent mood instability.

When Should You Seek Help for Mood Swings?

While everyone experiences mood swings occasionally, there are times when they can be a sign of something more serious. Here are some instances when you should consider seeking professional help for your mood swings:

1. Frequency and Intensity:

  • Extreme and rapid: If your mood swings are intense and occur frequently, like going from extreme happiness to deep sadness within a short period, it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
  • Disruptive: If your mood swings significantly disrupt your daily life, making it difficult to work, maintain relationships, or engage in activities you enjoy, seeking help is advisable.
  • No clear cause: If your mood swings happen without a clear trigger or explanation, it’s best to consult a professional to rule out any underlying causes.

2. Duration:

  • Persistent: Mood swings that last for weeks or longer, especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms like changes in sleep, appetite, or energy levels, could indicate a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder.
  • Interfering with daily life: If your mood swings are persistent and significantly impact your day-to-day functioning, seeking help can improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

3. Severity:

  • Interfering with relationships: If your mood swings negatively impact your relationships with family, friends, or colleagues, seeking professional support can help you manage them and improve your communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Intrusive thoughts: If you experience intrusive thoughts of self-harm or suicide during your mood swings, it’s crucial to seek immediate professional help.

4. Additional symptoms:

  • Anxiety, irritability, or anger: If your mood swings are accompanied by other symptoms like persistent anxiety, irritability, or anger, it could be a sign of an underlying mental health condition.
  • Changes in energy levels: If your mood swings are accompanied by significant changes in energy levels, like feeling constantly fatigued or having trouble sleeping, it could indicate a physical or mental health issue.

5. Lack of improvement:

  • Self-help efforts unsuccessful: If you’ve tried self-help strategies like exercise, meditation, or relaxation techniques but haven’t seen any improvement in your mood swings, seeking professional guidance can be beneficial.
  • Feeling overwhelmed: If you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with your mood swings on your own, seeking professional help can provide you with the tools and support you need to manage them effectively.

Remember, seeking help for your mood swings is a sign of strength and self-awareness. It’s important to prioritize your well-being and address any concerns you may have. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional, your doctor, or a trusted confidante if you’re experiencing any of the above signs.

Here are some resources that can help:


In conclusion, managing mood swings can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it’s possible to find relief and improve overall well-being.

By incorporating calming activities like yoga or meditation, individuals can create a sense of inner peace and reduce the intensity of mood swings. These activities can help regulate emotions and promote a sense of relaxation.

Maintaining a healthy diet is also important in managing mood swings. Certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, have been linked to improved mental health. Avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks can also help stabilize mood and energy levels.

Seeking professional support through therapy or counseling can provide valuable tools and techniques for coping with mood swings. A trained therapist can help individuals identify triggers, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and provide a safe space to discuss and process emotions.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. There are resources available to help you navigate the challenges of mood swings. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups for encouragement and understanding. Stay resilient and never hesitate to seek support when needed.

Genie H
Genie H

I'm Genie Ho, your go-to dietitian and wellness advocate. Step into my digital haven where health and vitality take center stage. As a dedicated foodie with a passion for nourishing the body and soul, I'm here to empower you on your journey to wellness. From embracing wholesome ingredients to fostering positive habits, let's navigate the path to a healthier, happier you together. With a finger on the pulse of the latest research and insights, my mission is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to thrive. Welcome to a world where wellness reigns supreme!