We live in an era of excuses. We tend to attribute our every failure or a missed opportunity to the ‘greater scheme’ that has conspired against us. From the well-known method of using religion as an excuse and turning our lives into a story of Job, where everything is ‘God’s will’, to the biological and psychological factors inside us we ‘cannot control’. One of those ‘uncontrollable’ things inside us are mood swings. We use this expression on an everyday basis, but there are very few people who really understand it. The truth is that mood swings are a very common thing and are a part of most people’s lives. It is completely normal to have changes in mood or emotional state: sometimes we’re happy, sometimes we’re sad. There are also serious mood swings that go to the extreme and that can affect our functioning in everyday life, but, in this case, we’re talking about bipolar disorder, which requires professional help. If you’re trying too hard to persuade everyone you’re sick, you may actually become sick. That’s why you need to try to find a cause for certain emotions before attributing it to Mother Nature.
What’s up, Doc?
Sometimes we make excuses unconsciously and really believe there’s something wrong with us. It can be really hard to control emotions if you’ve persuaded yourself that you’re sick. So sometimes it’s a good idea to go straight to the doctor. That way you’ll discard the possibility that the problem is beyond your control and you’ll be forced to deal with it. On the other hand, if your mood swings have been going on for a longer period of time, maybe you really do need a doctor. If it is a disorder, it’s not something time can heal. Actually, it can become even worse if it’s not treated. It’s bad enough to use your emotions as an excuse, but it’s even worse not to treat an illness just to maintain one.
The bigger picture
Although it seems these mood swings are sudden changes, usually they are the result of some ongoing process. Causes can be many and, in order to find them, you have to pay special attention every time you notice that your mood has changed significantly and try to figure out what has triggered it. Sometimes those triggers can hide in simple things like some specific food, drink, drug, or situation, but, usually, you have to look at the bigger picture. Mood swings are in most cases the product of confusion in the individual who can’t find their place in the world.
Right after the ever-present fear of death is the fear that the world will pass you by. And while the fear of death can also influence us to take action in order to leave something behind, this fear just creates a feeling that we’ve been left behind and that our time has already passed. That gets us in a state of depression where we eventually lose every hope of improvement. This often happens to people who have very high ambitions in today’s competitive world. While we’re struggling to succeed, it seems that everyone around us already did it. We get the feeling that they did it overnight, not knowing that they had to go through a similar struggle, so we start to think that we just don’t have what it takes and that we’ll never succeed. The best method to overcome this feeling is to just talk to our colleagues or friends who have achieved something, in order to become aware that it’s always about the process. Another efficient way to overcome depression is to create a daily timetable as a series of steps in achieving your goal.
A similar effect of depression can be produced by waking up from living in a fictional world. Everyone has heard of the famous Avatar Blues produced by James Cameron, where people contemplated suicide because they couldn’t cope with the real world after they experienced the beautiful fictional one in the film. Unfortunately, you don’t have to go to see Cameron’s film in order to get trapped in this kind of feeling. The most successful ‘trap’ that produces this kind of state is social media. When we’re on Facebook, we always play a game of ‘who’ll get more likes’, which is nothing more than trying to be accepted by others (usually people we don’t even know). What happens during that ‘game’ is that we become someone else by figuring out what qualities most people like. Disguised like that, we feel happy and fulfilled. But the minute we shut down the computer we turn back to ‘normal and boring’, individuals which instantly triggers a bad mood. The same effect is caused by video games that have breached the line between reality and fiction. Spending too much time playing over-realistic video games can leave you with the notion that you have superpowers in the real world also, and when that is proven wrong it can lead to disappointment and depression.
It’s all in your head
Or is it? Life has become so fast and equipped with expanding technology that we’ve neglected our bodies. We have stopped listening to our bodies’ needs and forgotten how they’re closely connected to our psyche. We expect to have plenty of energy and enthusiasm while our body is getting weaker every day. This imbalance can cause confusing emotions we can’t explain. The solution is a simple workout from time to time but that also leaves room for disappointment – what if we can’t keep up? If you haven’t been working out for some time, you can’t demand miracles from your body and you have to let it recover. Today you can choose from a large variety of protein powder as an all-natural supplement that will speed up that recovery process and get you back on track in no time. Stop making excuses and don’t let your online doppelganger take your place while you’re ‘suffering’ in the dark corner of your room – understand your emotions, prepare your body, and let the world know you’re still here.
Victoria Lim is a lifestyle writer and a blogger in constant pursuit of trying something new. She’s in love with life, love, and self-love. Psychology is a topic she likes to explore along with a nice cup of green tea; sometimes she makes difficult decisions about which tea would be perfect for her next cup. You could say she’s an avid tea-drinker.