Masked young woman expressing different emotions
Published On: March 12, 2024|Categories: Mental Health|

To expect a constant, stable mood at all times is not only unrealistic, it isn’t human. As humans, part of who we are includes experiencing a variety of moods, from happiness to sadness, excitement to depression. General fluctuations in mood are not abnormal.   

When these fluctuations become more frequent, intense or present without a cause, however, concern should be raised. Normal mood swings happen with a cause; abnormal mood swings happen randomly and can begin to significantly decrease your quality of life. 

What are mood swings and what causes them?

Mood changes are different from mood swings in that as situations/environments/attitudes around you change, your mood changes to reflect the situation. For example, you will experience more of a positive outlook when you are offered a raise; but you might feel increased stress when you receive bad news about your car. 

Mood swings are less easily anticipated. Think of a mood swing as an actual swing – at first you’re way up, then you swing down quickly, then you are back up on the other side before you know it. And the action repeats. 

Mood swings can be like that, with quick changes from a high to a low and back again. While mood changes have clear triggers (i.e. good/bad news), mood swings do not always have as clear a cause. It is these unanticipated swings that usually require expert help. 

This is because one of the causes of unexpected mood swings can be related to an underlying, unidentified mental health disorder. Common mental health disorders known to cause mood swings include: 

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Substance use disorder

Additional potential causes of mood swings include: 

  • Poor nutrition due to an insufficient diet
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Experiencing a stressful situation, including the loss of a loved one, divorce or job loss
  • Hormones
  • Changing or altering medications  
  • Certain illnesses, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis

If you feel like your mood swings are due to any of the above, it might be time to check in with your doctor or therapist to see if an illness is the root cause, or to determine if you need mental health treatment for mood swings.

How can I control mood swings naturally?

The first step in controlling mood swings is understanding the underlying cause. Once you identify that, how you can handle the mood swings should be a little clearer. 

For example, if you know a mood change is due to losing your job, you might want to seek out certain activities that naturally lower stress (like kickboxing or journaling) so you experience less fatigue and anxiety and more motivation. 

If you suspect that your mood swings are not situational, but arise randomly, it could be a good indicator that an underlying mental health condition is the cause. To best get these mood swings under your control, you will want to reach out to your therapist for guidance and strategies, including recommended talk therapies or treatments proven to help with mood swing management. 

In the meantime, you might try these other natural strategies (that is, methods not requiring medication).

Regular exercise

You do not have to lift double your body weight or run 20 miles every day to get enough exercise – plenty of exercise strategies, including a leisurely walk through your neighborhood, a 15-minute cardio video online, a yoga class or swimming laps in the pool are all excellent ways to get some daily exercise.

Exercise is proven to benefit mood and mental health as it gets your focus off negative thought patterns, releases endorphins and serotonin and improves physical fitness (which may increase self-esteem). It can help balance out the lows of mood swings and keep you on a more stable playing field overall.

Balanced diet 

Certain dietary ingredients – including food dyes, high sugar count, caffeine and excessive carbohydrate – intake can lead to hyperactivity and a consequent crash, not to mention a feeling of overall discomfort and GI upset. What you put in your body directly impacts your brain and how well you function, mentally and physically.

For this reason it’s crucial to incorporate healthy items into your daily diet, including colorful fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, plenty of protein (especially chicken and fish) and a moderate amount of whole grains. Taking the time to shop, prepare and enjoy healthy foods will have a distinct, noticeable impact on both physical and mental health, and, therefore, your mood.


Sleeping has a significant impact on mood, and lack of sleep can cause one to experience signs of anxiety and depression. When you sleep, your body can heal itself and recover, physically and mentally. When you deprive yourself of sleep, your body is not able to do those things, and can experience several negative symptoms as a result. 

You should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help stabilize your mood and physically take care of your body. 

Help with mood disorders

If you feel like your moods have become uncontrollable, it may be time to seek professional help to get your quality of life back. For our Georgia residents, contact High Focus Centers by calling 866-204-7306 or by contacting us online to learn more about our programs today. 

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