Mood swings can be nasty. You feel like shutting yourself off from people. You do not feel like going to work, and even if you do, you snap at your colleagues and even your seniors. In short, it is not a pleasant situation to be in.

Mood swings are most severe just before the onset of menstruation. If you are experiencing them, you are most likely going through PMS. Even though men (and some women) have this uncanny ability of joking about everything PMS, Post menstrual stress is real.  It is a medically proven condition and not a fragment of our imagination. It is believed that mood swings are caused by hormonal imbalance especially when estrogen and progesterone are released that can impact the serotonin levels of the brain.

Irritability, depression, long periods of withdrawal, fatigue, and insomnia are some of the symptoms of mood swings.  Serotonin in our brain is responsible for our varying moods. We feel good and active when the levels are high; if they are low, we feel down. Hence, a lot of anti-depressants help control the serotonin levels of our brain. There are a few prescription drugs such as lithium and valium that can help control the roller-costar type mood swings. But it is always better to adopt healthier, natural alternatives, if the condition is not severe and you are not clinically depressed. They have better and more long-term benefits.

This brings us to the question- what are the things you can control your mood swings with? So let’s see, the things we should avoid, if we do not want to worsen the symptoms. And simultaneously talk about the healthier alternatives.

When you are experiencing mood swings, you might try to alleviate it with food. While there is nothing wrong with it, you need to measure your portions and avoid sugar and high-processed foods. You might crave for junk, sugary foods a lot, but consuming them will only aggravate the symptoms. Instead, take a hi-fiber diet and a decent amount of fruits to maintain proper estrogen levels. It is also important to stay away from caffeine as much as possible, and especially not take it the first thing in the morning.

Insomnia is a major symptom of mood swings. Sleeping well can really help ease the symptoms, but it is easier said than done. So, how do you sleep well when you are PMSing? Well, you can do it if you exercise regularly. Doctors have recommended both yoga and cardio-vascular exercises to relieve mood swings. Yoga helps in relaxing the body, calming the mind, thereby reducing stress levels. Yoga and cardio-vascular exercises can help treat minor depression and mood swings as therapy.

Things you could control your mood swings with

As far as food is concerned, it is beneficial to consume legumes like peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts. They contain phytoestrogens and can help ease the symptoms. Other than these, tofu is also a great source of phytoestrogens, thereby making it potent enough to fight mood swings. Make sure you include them in your diet, and avoid processed and junk foods altogether. You can also take vitamins, especially Vitamins B5, B6, B12, and C for a calming effect on your nervous system.

It is perfectly normal to feel anxious, jealous, hurt, or angry over seemingly trivial issues. One moment, you might feel happy and chirpy, and the next moment, you’d feel depressed or low for no apparent reason. Remember, it is normal. It is a symptom of mood swings, and it will go away with time. You can use the remedies mentioned above whenever you feel you are spending a lot of energy dealing with them.  It is natural to experience difficult emotions during this time, with time and proper therapy these symptoms will go away.

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