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Can Mindfulness Help with Mood Swings?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a mood disorder, you can likely relate to the unpredictability that each day brings. Intense highs or intense lows can affect nearly every aspect of life, making work, social relationships, and general functioning quite challenging at times. Thankfully, there are several effective strategies that can be used for treating mood swings – including mindfulness. Author Caroline Mitchell described mindfulness in her book titled, “Mood Swings: The Mindful Way: Managing Anger, Anxiety, and Low Mood”. She stated, “Mindfulness teaches us to take time out and understand more about who we are, what’s going on in our lives and what we want…Mindfulness can help us recognize what the triggers and warning signs are for our mood swings, so we can be in more control of them.”

A review written by researchers from Canada expressed that for emotion regulation, mindfulness training can open up a sensory pathway in the prefrontal region of the brain – ultimately reducing evaluative responses and promoting “present-moment sensory awareness”. Harvard University neuroscientist Sarah Lazar told the American Psychological Association (APA) that enhanced neural connectivity in structures of the brain develop when meditation and mindfulness are practiced, which can promote changes in neurotransmitter release, ultimately promoting overall function.  If you’re looking to practice mindfulness, try one of these exercises:

  • Mindful Walking – as you walk down the sidewalk or street, slow your pace down so that you can very carefully pay attention to the feel of your feet touching the ground as you step. Notice the texture of the ground beneath you, and the feel of your body moving as you walk forward. Do this for however long you’d like.
  • Five Senses – sitting where you are, slowly go through your five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, and hear – to recognize your surroundings. Soak it all in, one by one.
  • Self-Compassion – pause your day by taking note of your feelings without placing importance on thoughts or actions. Place your hand over your heart or give yourself a hug, and take a few deep breaths. Acknowledge any feelings of pain that you have, and practice accepting this as being part of the human experience.

If you have been diagnosed with a mood disorder, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about program options that will fit your needs.

The Guest House Ocala specializes in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Clinical expertise, a compassionate team, and an outstanding attention to detail ensures each guest’s experience will be customized to their needs. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: 1-855-483-7800