Mood Swings


Patterns of communication and unresolved conflict.

It is common for all of us to experience changes in our moods throughout each day. Depending on the internal and external circumstances in our lives at the time, these changes might be positive or negative, helpful or maladaptive. Sudden changes in our moods could actually be very valuable, as this might help us to adapt to the ever changing contexts of society and in our lives; however, when mood variances becomes intense, interrupt regular daily functioning, or contribute to urges to engage in risky behaviours, speaking with a mental health professional for assistance would be a beneficial choice.

What Are Mood Swings?

Simply put, mood swings are noticeable changes in our moods or emotional states. Neither are they anyone’s “fault” or is any one shift any better or worse than other. Shifts in our moods are a part of being human.

What Causes Mood Swings?

Our moods are very susceptible to change. It is inevitable that our moods should fluctuate depending on both our internal and external circumstances. Whether it be due to fluctuations in hormone levels, an alteration in the dosage of a medication, the loss of a job or of a loved one, or starting a new job or at a new school, our moods shift in order to help us out.

Medical or other psychiatric conditions could also be a primary cause of mood swings.

If the changes pose a danger or a risk to you or to someone else or if they get in the way of healthy daily routines or functioning, therapy for abrupt or intrusive changes in our moods could be beneficial.

How Do I Cope With Mood Swings?

Different strategies have proven to be helpful for some to the management of mood swings. Some of these include:

  • Keeping track of mood alterations. Noting the internal and external circumstances commonly associated with shifts in mood will help to notice patterns in the mood swings and could be a starting point for the development of coping strategies.
  • Journalling. Especially of daily moods and mood swings
  • Exercise. Releasing endorphins (natural pain killers) and natural sources of helpful neurotransmitters (like serotonin) by getting our hearts pumping in response to exercise (running, walking, cycling, dancing, etc.) could be very helpful.
  • Sleep. Maintaining a routine that allows for a good amount of restorative and restful sleep is of great importance for everyone. To be able to better manage our moods, it is especially important to ensure that fatigue or exhaustion do not cloud our ability to function.
  • Nutrition. Eating a healthy diet and getting good amounts of the nutrients we need is also generally important and especially so when we are attempting to learn about and effectively work with our mental states.
  • Social Support. Having others with whom you are comfortable to speak to about and share your experience with mood swings and emotions is, in general, likely to help us feel less alone or isolated. No one is alone in feeling/experiencing troublesome of inexplicable shifts in their moods

Does Therapy Work for Mood Swings?

Visiting with a mental health professional for recurrent and disruptive mood swings can definitely be a helpful and beneficial way to begin (or continue) managing the effects of mood swings. Help in developing new or more effective strategies for coping and dealing with the shifts in mood from an objective and empathetic counsellor is a step toward successfully managing shifts in mood. We can help!


Grohal, J.M. (2016). All about mood swings.

Harris, R. (2017). ACT for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (online course).

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