Four surprising things that affect your mood

It’s not easy being a woman in this day and age. The higher expectations, the obligations that keep piling up, the kids, the numerous relatives we need to call on, the physical changes… How wouldn’t we be affected by all those things?

bright rainbow of coloured clothesWho could blame us for having a bad day once in a while?

Still, as much as everybody has the right to get cranky sometimes, there are situations that bring out the worst in us and could easily be avoided. Wouldn’t you like to recognise those situations? Well, next time pay attention to some of the following things:

1 Colour of your clothes

Most of us only pay attention to the choice of colours in our home or at work. We neglect the ones that always go with us – the colour of our clothes. Sure, sometimes we choose clothes according to colour. But why not try to affect our current mood by wearing specific colours?

The way we perceive certain colours is determined by our culture, but also mainly by nature itself. For example, no matter where you are from, a lot of red around you will cause your pulse rate to speed up. It’s your body’s natural response. 

Blue is one of the positive colours. It lowers your blood pressure and makes you feel calm. If you’re anxious, choose a gentle blue shade for your outfit. Green has a similar calming effect, but it’s invigorating at the same time. So, wear it if you also need to lift your spirit. Whenever you need to awaken your creativity and get yourself motivated, orange is right for you. If you need a little positivity to keep you going through a hard day, then choose a yellow piece of clothing.

So, next time you make a choice between two lovely dresses from your wardrobe, think about how colours can improve your day.

2 Too much time online

As much as the internet has changed our lives for the better, there are a growing number of studies that show how spending too much time on social networks such as Facebook can seriously get us into a bad mood. Even though most of us surf the net when we feel too sad or angry to switch our minds to something else, we often end up feeling worse than before. We were looking for a distraction but we somehow managed to sink deeper into negativity. Why is that?

If you visit a social network when feeling sad or dissatisfied with your present situation, chances are that seeing other people’s photos of babies and their significant others won’t make you feel any better. It will only make you feel sorry for yourself and more depressed.

So, if you notice that you feel worse after being on Facebook, consider deactivating your account (at least for a while) or unfollow the friends whose happiness annoys you most. Instead, remind yourself that it isn’t a true image of reality, get out in the real world and make your own great moments.

3 Lack of physical activity

Physical activity is not only good for our body, it’s also good for our mental state. More accurately, exercise helps us deal with anxiety, mood swings and panic. If you spend most of your free time in front of a TV or online, your body will gradually start losing its muscle strength and you’ll feel a lack of energy and even discontent and anxiety.

You need to awaken both your body and mind. First, recover your muscles from all that lying down – they depend on protein intake, so eat food rich with proteins and get supplements if you need additional help. Next, start with a physical activity – walking, for example. It’s simple and easy, but it’s proven to improve our mood. In time, the stronger and better you feel, the more you’ll be motivated to do specific exercises that release endorphins in your body, block negative thoughts and relieve anxiety.

4 Menopause

Even though menopause is a completely natural thing in every woman’s life, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be pleasant all the time. OK, it’s not something we can actually avoid, but what we can do is understand how it actually affects us and how we can tone it down.

Essentially, mood swings in menopause are caused by hormones, namely, the oestrogen that affects the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter regulating our mood. We feel depressed, anxious or moody when our serotonin level changes. It’s not something that we can stop. However, our mood swings are also caused by other menopausal side effects, such as night sweats, sleep problems, hot flushes, fatigue and physical changes.

There is plenty of useful advice on the internet with tips for dealing with these side effects. For example, avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy food before bed if you’re experiencing night sweats or develop a regular sleep routine and lower your bedroom temperature if you want to fight fatigue. Good remedies for hot flushes are sipping ice water when a hot flush starts and wearing layers of clothes, so you can easily remove one. These are just some of the little things that can help.

Taking back control

Mood swings are not easy to deal with, for you or for people closest to you. But they are here and they are not going to just disappear overnight. The good news is – when you learn to recognise the situations that trigger them, you will get better at controlling them, stopping them or even avoiding them completely.

Of course, you’re not going to succeed every time, but plenty of times you will. And that’s the beauty of being a woman, isn’t it? Handling whatever life throws at us.

About Victoria Lim

I’m a journalist and a fitness enthusiast with a BSc in nutrition. I have spent two years working as a personal trainer. I’m passionate about writing, sharing tips and tricks.