Want to find out if your moodiness is a sign of an imbalance? Take this quiz:
1. Do your mood swings correlate to your appetite levels?
2. Are you frequently changing or canceling plans due to moodiness or sleepiness?
3. Do you find yourself turning to more and more caffeine to get through the day?
4. Do some days seem harder than others for no reason at all?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may benefit from the following strategies to level out mood swings.
Step #1: The Carb Swap
Many people on no-carb or low-carb diets become moody and irritable. Since carbohydrates release feel-good serotonin, a no-carb diet can reduce serotonin levels. However, too many bad carbs can also lead to mood swings. Eating enough good carbs helps prevent sugar spikes and crashes because they leave your stomach very slowly, delivering serotonin in a slow, controlled way. If you’re on a no-carb diet, consider adding some good carbs to your daily diet. If you’re eating bad carbs like white bread, pasta, chips, cookies, bread and soda, swap them for good carbs like beans, quinoa and whole fruits like berries and apples.
Step #2: The Drink Swap
Many people can relate to the following scenario: You don’t get enough sleep, and so you drink some caffeine to get through your day. Of course, then you have even more trouble sleeping, and you need even more caffeine. This downward spiral continues leaving you completely dependent on too much caffeine, which causes problems in both energy, mood and sleep patterns. The solution? Remove energy drinks, soda and coffee and swap them for white, green and black tea. These forms of tea contain L-theanine, which helps to provide a sense of calm while helping you concentrate. Since tea has less caffeine than coffee and energy drinks (green tea having just a third and white tea having close to none), it will also help to level your moods since you won't be on a roller coaster of up and down energy levels.
Step #3: Use a Cognitive Behavioral Tool
Cognitive behavioral tools are clinically proven ways to improve mood. When we get in a bad mood, we tend to catastrophize and think of the worst-case scenario. Of course, this only prolongs the bad mood and makes us feel even worse. Transition from glass-half-empty to glass-half-full thinking. The next time you engage in catastrophic, pessimistic thinking and are considering all of the negatives in a situation, stop and consider the positive in the situation or your life. As you make a conscious note of the positive, notice what that does to the way you’re feeling in the present moment.
Step #4: Practice Mindfulness
An effective mindfulness technique to help you to deal with anxiety, stress and changing moods is thought-stream meditation. When you find yourself in a bad mood, stop and close your eyes for a moment. Imagine that you’re sitting next to a stream. This stream contains everything you’re thinking and feeling. Just look and notice what’s in the stream without any judgment. As you see a thought or feeling float by, just say to yourself, “Ah, that’s how it is right now.” Don’t try to slow the stream down or speed it up. Just greet each thing you find in your stream with acceptance as you watch it. Now, also notice another thing: You are separate from this stream. There’s a difference between you sitting here and the stream. You’re not one and the same. You are not your thoughts and feelings, and you don’t need to be controlled by them. In noticing this separation, notice how this sets you free from moodiness.
This plan was created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. Get past expert Truth Tube plans here.