Life can be tough, there’s no doubt about it, and when you’re caught in a bad place and are suffering from mood and health issues, the whole world can seem infinitely darker and more miserable than it really should.
The mind has tremendous power to shape our experience of the world for better or for worse.
It may be that you’re getting on in life, and are feeling less and less able to take care of your own well-being. Maybe you’ve started to compare nursing homes, or maybe you’ve just resigned yourself to a chronically melancholic state of being.
Or maybe you’re young, and you wonder why the years when you’re supposed to be at your most vibrant seem dominated by mood swings.
If you’ve been trying to tackle ongoing mood issues and haven’t found the solution, you may be looking in the wrong place. Here are a few lesser-known potential triggers for mood issues, that are worth considering.
Blood sugar issues
Many people have undiagnosed blood sugar issues, up to and including reactive hypoglycemia (where blood sugar drops dramatically within the hours after consuming a meal.
Blood sugar issues can have a dramatic effect on mood, and may result in severe bouts of anxiety or depression, not to mention severe fatigue and physical weakness.
To ensure that your blood sugar remains stable, avoid eating refined sugars or simple carbohydrates (such as white bread). Stick instead to complex carbs at meal times, eaten with protein and fat.
Also, be sure to eat at least a small meal every 2-3 hours during the day in order to keep blood sugar levels stable, and begin each day with a substantial breakfast as soon as you wake up.
For some people, addressing blood sugar issues is enough to reverse serious mood conditions all by itself.
Chronically elevated stress hormones
When we’re in a “stressed” state, our bodies release lots of stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline. When we’re adding stimulants such as caffeine into the mixture, aren’t enough, and aren’t getting enough downtime, our stress hormone levels can remain chronically high.
Chronically elevated stress hormones can damage the organs of the body, including the brain. Unsurprisingly, they can also cause mood swings and issues including severe anxiety, paranoia, panic, and outbursts of anger.
Try to emphasise rest and relaxation, stay well fed, and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, in order to reduce chronically elevated stress hormone levels.
Chronic sleep deprivation
Chronic sleep deprivation may well be the norm for most adults in today’s world, rather than the exception, but burning the midnight oil can have terrible effects on our health.
Sleep is when our bodies repair and recover, appear to consolidate memories, and balance our hormone levels.
Sleep deprivation, if it goes on for long enough, leads to death. Even in controlled settings, subjects who remained awake for a week or so at a time experienced serious brain damage and permanent personality changes.
If you’re not getting enough sleep each night, and if you wake up exhausted each morning, your mood is bound to suffer. Adjust your day however you need to in order to get more sleep.
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