What causes mood swings? 9 Things that surprisingly can affect your mood
Do you ever get those days that you wake up and you just know that it’s not going to be a good one? You start the day in a foul mood: you snap at your partner, you bark at colleagues and you can’t wait for it to be time to go back to bed again and get the whole day over and done with. Well, there could be many reasons why you feel like that, and it’s got nothing to do with you being depressed, moody or any other such thing, as there are a lot of external influences that can influence your mood. So read these 9 things that can affect your mood, and then, next time you have a severe case of the grumps and mood swings, at least, you’ll know why:
1. Bad moods can be contagious
It has been proven in studies that being with ill-tempered and grouchy people does actually rub off. In one study, a group of students who were paired with miserable roommates ‘caught’ their pessimistic outlook on life after just a couple of months. So, next time you are in a foul mood, you can be perfectly justified in saying that it’s not you, it’s everyone else’s fault!
2. A day out in the sun. Good or bad?
We all know that we need a healthy dose of sunlight regularly and that being outside in the park on a sunny day can make us feel happier and more confident, but strangely enough, being out in bright sunlight for prolonged periods of time also has been proven not to improve our mood, but to make it worse. Research carried out in Italy showed that, squinting, to avoid the glare of the sun, increases anger and aggression in people by over 40%, because our facial muscles are somehow linked to our mood and squinting mimics similar facial expression as irritation, aggression or anger, so be sure to pack your sunglasses, when you go on vacation.
3. Colors can affect our mood
Because we make subconscious associations between colors and events or situations, they can directly affect our mood. Red, for example, is instantly associated with danger or passion, because fire is red and blood is red, and our hearts actually beat faster when we see the color red. Black, of course, is associated with the night and with funerals, so it subdues our mood and makes us less active.
4. What can cause mood swings? Dehydration!
If you are not drinking enough water, then your mood can plummet. Even only a mild dehydration can wreck a good mood, which is a part of the reason why you can feel so lousy after a long night out and too much alcohol.
The social networking phenomenon, even though it has many positive aspects to it, has been nevertheless blamed for many things and it would appear that we can now blame it for mood swings too. Studies found that people’s satisfaction with their own life dropped by many percent after skimming through the images on friends’ Facebook pages. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites can also be quite addictive and this unproductive activity can actually ‘eat’ quite a huge amount of your precious time, and can even result in depression and eating disorders. So, be aware and only consume social media by small portions.
6. Your eating habits
Another thing that surprisingly can affect your mood is your diet. Good eating habits and well balanced diet will make your feel happier and healthier. Eat more fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein rich foods (fish, eggs, lean meats, shellfish…) and whole grains, and avoid eating large amounts of food at night before sleeping, also shun foods that are high in sugar, empty calories and in starch, because all these foods will only make you sluggish and add up to your fatigue.
7. Big makes you bolder and more daring
If you stand up straight you will feel bolder, if you own a big house, you will feel more important and if drive a big car, you will be more reckless. Big does make us feel bolder and this has been proven in research. In one experiment, participants were asked to sit in two different driving simulators. One of the simulators felt like a big Range Rover and the other like a small Smart car. Those who were seated in the Range Rover simulator became far more aggressive in their driving and were even more likely to commit simulated hit and runs!
8. Your posture
Your posture can also surprisingly affect your mood. A study has shown that when we sit up straight, we tend to automatically think of something positive and remember positive events. When you walk, your posture is also important: when you walk with your shoulders back and your head up high, you tend to feel more confident and more positive about yourself and the world around you, whereas sluggish and slumped walk will only drain the energy out of you and can make you feel down.
9. Money can simplify your life and make it more comfortable, but it does not make you happy
You might think that winning the lottery would make you ecstatically happy. Well, it does, but not for long. Research has shown that lottery winners are no happier, than the rest of us and in fact they often experience more problems dealing with money and relationships, than they did before they won. Donating to charity or doing something good for other people, on the other hand, has been proven to make people happier.