There are days when you feel energized and happy, while there are times when you would suddenly feel blue or irritated without any valid reason. Unfortunately, females do suffer from mood shifts.
Women have been stereotyped as moody creatures. They often get bigot remarks such as being overdramatic, whiny, sulky, and even crazy. Scientifically speaking, most women cannot help but feel happy in a moment then get angry or sad after a few minutes or hours. You can trace back the reason behind these mood changes to hormones. The majority of women often experience mood swings because of hormonal imbalance.
Causes of Mood Swings: Why Do Women Experience Mood Swings?
If you're wondering why you have been experiencing sudden and uncontrollable changes in your mood, then the following list will explain the causes of your mood swings.
1. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Days or even weeks before the onset of your menstrual period, the majority of women would often feel several symptoms, collectively known as premenstrual syndrome. Early signs include physical exhaustion, breast enlargement, appetite loss, and mood shifts, which can all be rooted in fluctuating estrogen levels before the menstrual cycle. Your estrogens can suddenly increase before the ovulation period and decrease afterward, causing hormonal imbalance. As a result, serotonin levels also drastically drop, thereby affecting your mood and day-to-day activities.
2. Menstrual Period
The female body has ovaries as the sexual gonads responsible for reproduction. Every month, the ovaries secrete more estrogen and progesterone, leading to the thickening of the uterus lining and releasing the egg, all in preparation for pregnancy. If a woman doesn't get pregnant after the ovulation period, her body sheds the unfertilized egg and uterus lining in the form of menstrual blood. During these critical times, your hormones are also erratic, thereby affecting your happy hormone levels.
By chance that you get pregnant, does it mean that your gloomy days are over? Unfortunately, pregnancy is another crucial period for women. Your hair growth might improve during pregnancy because of a vivid surge in estrogen and progesterone production. Yet, this sudden increase in female sex hormones can also give you an emotional roller coaster. Most pregnant women become overly dramatic and hypersensitive in their prenatal period. Hormonal fluctuations, especially during the first trimester, can make you too sluggish. Sleep deprivation, another after-effect of erratic hormones during pregnancy, is adding fuel to the fire. It can increase cortisol (stress hormones) and decrease your serotonin (happy hormones), thereby causing sudden meltdowns from time to time. But don't worry, mood changes during pregnancy is only temporary. With proper care and enough rest, you'll be able to mitigate the frequency of pregnancy mood swings.
Now that you've known that menstrual cycles and pregnancy can cause your mood shifts, what about during your last few years of having menstruation? Sad to say, but you'll still experience mood swings years before the menopause until your previous menstrual period. Your hormones also waver during these times, which can trigger mood swings. When estrogen and progesterone levels are not stabilized, they can disturb your mind's calmness, resulting in mood changes throughout the day. Other menopausal signs, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeping problems, decreased libido, female alopecia, and weight loss, can even exacerbate your mood shifts.
What exactly happens during the before and during the menopausal period? After decades of being active in ovulation, ovaries gradually decline their estrogen production. This abrupt estrogen drop can 'shock' your body, causing many unwanted physical and internal manifestations like mood swings. To further understand what happens during the menopausal period, get to know the most common menopausal symptoms every middle-aged woman should remember.
A hot flash is an unexpected increase in your upper body temperature, which can be pretty uncomfortable, especially at nighttime. While this menopausal symptom can last for 30 seconds to five minutes, experiencing frequent hot flash episodes can disrupt your sleep. The more serious it gets, the more difficult it is for you to enjoy a good night's sleep. As a result, you may become stressed and exhausted the next day, which can most likely trigger your mood swings. Extreme stress can also cause your hair to shed prematurely, thereby affecting your outlook and self-esteem.
5. Postmenopausal period
After the last menstrual period passed, most women would probably think that they can enjoy their golden years without any hassle. You may be free from the shackles of using sanitary napkins and tampons, but you'll still feel the after-effects of having few estrogens. Women become more prone to osteoporosis since estrogen is needed for bone development. Even though not as intense as they used to be during the menopausal transition, mood shifts will still occur. However, postmenopausal women are at risk of anxiety and depression because of insufficient female sex hormones. Progesterone acts as a natural antidepressant, so a drop in its levels can critically affect your mood.
What Can You Do to Alleviate Your Mood Swings During Menopause?
Now that you have known the most plausible reasons behind women's sudden moodiness, you need to check out the following tips to alleviate your menopausal mood swings.
1. Train your mind to be optimistic.
Hormones affect how we feel and think, yet it is crucial to let our minds rule over matter. Training your mind to think positively won't be easy, but you can start it small from time to time.
First, as much as possible, avoid any stressful situation that can trigger the onset of your mood swings. Second, think of happy moments whenever you're alone. Reminiscing blissful memories will help you divert your attention, especially when you're on the verge of crying for no valid reason. Third, always look on the brighter side instead of sulking over your life problems. Don't let your emotions influence your thinking, especially when you're dealing with important matters. Expressing your feelings is healthy, but after that, you must look for possible and plausible solutions to your problems instead of bawling out for the whole day. These tips are easier said than done, but training your mind will help you mitigate mood changes.
2. Enrich your diet with phytoestrogens.
As you've known, hormonal imbalance is the main culprit of mood swings among women. To regulate your hormonal levels, start your day with a phytoestrogen-enriched diet. What are phytoestrogens? These plant nutrients have estrogenic properties that can imitate estrogenic functions. With their mimicking abilities, phytoestrogens can help prevent various physiological processes from being 'shocked' due to a dramatic decrease in estrogen production.
There are different types of phytoestrogens: isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans. So, where can you get these phytoestrogens? Soy products (e.g., tofu, soy milk, and soy sauce), flax seeds, dried beans, wheat bran, clover sprouts, carrots, and apples are just some of your top sources of phytoestrogens. Enriching your diet with these foods can help you ease your hormonal fluctuations, thereby reducing mood shift frequency.
3. Include exercise in your daily routine.
Exercise does not only improve muscle formation and weight management, but it does help stabilize your mood. When you exercise, your brain signals the release of endorphins or hormones that ease pain and stress. These feel-good hormones are the reasons why you still feel good despite being physically exhausted after an exercise.
Keeping yourself physically active can go a long way in alleviating menopausal mood swings. However, some middle-aged women may find it strenuous to do aerobic exercises like running, sprinting, and sports. With that, they can start their exercising journey by doing simple physical activities, such as walking, dancing, and yoga. Sparing some time for exercise will help you feel good all the time, boost your energy, and discipline your mind and body to withstand stress and fatigue.
4. Avoid sugary foods.
A famous chocolate brand always encourages people to have a break by eating a chocolate bar. While eating chocolates can boost energy in the middle of your hectic schedule, it is not advisable to eat chocolates all the time. In fact, excessive sugary food consumption does have an adverse effect on your mood in the long run. Recent studies show that your diet's high sugar levels can cause mood maladies for both men and women. The higher the sugar levels in the body, the more prone it is for menopausal women to anxiety disorders. Thus, every menopausal woman needs to keep her sugar intake in moderation to curb mood swings.
Do Not Let Menopausal Mood Swings Ruin Your Moment.
Menopause can cause your mood swings to occur and recur, but you must not let this middle-aged life crisis ruin your day-to-day activities. Mitigate the onset of mood changes by improving your diet and lifestyle so that you can fully enjoy adulthood.
Mood Swings Are Not The Only After-Effect of Menopause.
Hair loss is another common menopausal symptom among middle-aged women. Protect your tresses at all costs by using only the best hair growth products. Choose all-natural shampoo and conditioner items that best work as hair loss treatments.