Stop the MOOD Insanity

Mood Plan Program by Nisha Jackson, PhD, MS, WHCNP, HHP

Stop the MOOD Insanity

Getting a grip on your behavior patterns

Consider the detrimental effect of these all-too-common behaviors on the brain’s mood chemicals and body balance:

Waking up late

  • You didn’t sleep well, hit the snooze button one too many times, skipped the exercise routine, and generally felt terrible waking up—more like you just dropped into bed.

  • You’re in a panic, knowing you’re running late.
  • Your clothes don’t fit well due to that extra layer of fat you’ve developed around your middle, and you are disgusted seeing yourself in the mirror.

  • You rush to get ready, yell at the dogs, the kids, and your significant other— and wonder why no one else rushes to help!

Skipping breakfast

  • You either simply skip breakfast or grab a quick pastry, slice of toast, or bottle of sugar-filled juice, slugging it down as you run out the door.

  • You grab coffee or an energy drink as you head into work.

  • You instantly feel a little boost of energy, followed almost as quickly by a headache, irritability, and nausea.

Rushing to work

  • You feel terrible for yelling at the family and the dog—you told yourself you would stop being so frantic in the morning and taking it out on them.

  • You realize that your car has no gas, it’s filthy and littered with fast food bags, and you beat yourself up for not taking care of the most basic things.

  • In spite of your hurrying, you now are late for that early morning meeting, and your breathing becomes shallow—can you hit any more red lights?

Arriving late

  • You begin answering the stressful emails, realizing how far behind you already are, and you’re overwhelmed before your day even begins.

  • Your child calls to say the homework got left behind and begs you to bring it to school.

  • You force yourself to plow ahead, down a donut or cookie, and instantly berate yourself: “I needed something, but darn, I was trying to lose weight, why did I eat that?”

  • You suck down the coffee, trying to get the energy to accomplish something.

Working non-stop

  • You work through lunch just trying to catch up.

  • You don’t leave your chair and your back is killing you.

  • You know you should be drinking water, but going to the break room will
set you back, so you just keep ramming through the work.

  • You stare at the computer, your head is killing you, you feel a wave of fatigue coming on, and you tell yourself that you should eat, but you just need to get through a few more emails.

  • Your energy is waning, your concentration is fading, and you wonder why you can’t remember anything, not even what you did five minutes ago.

Starving in the afternoon

  • By 2:00 pm, you’re exhausted, and you finally break for food.

  • It’s been eight hours since you inhaled breakfast and eighteen hours since your last real meal.

  • You crave something sugary or salty.

  • You grab a salad, pasta, bagel, crackers and soup, or some brand of fast food.

  • More than anything, you feel like taking a nap.

Facing the afternoon blues

  • You only have about two hours to finish eight hours more of work.

  • You are tempted by the brownies that your co-worker brought in, but you really need to lose the fat around your gut that is making your pants so tight.
  • You can’t stand the temptation any longer, you eat the gooey chocolate brownie, and you have a surge of euphoria—only to be immediately followed by a headache, irritability, and regret.

  • Your significant other calls to ask you to pick up the kids, and you respond by slamming down the phone, knowing you’ll have spend more time working at home.

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Rushing to your other full time job

  • You arrive home to a mess of laundry, dirty dishes, yard work, and home repairs that never end.

  • Kids need help with homework or rides to games, lessons, or activities, and the pets need attention.

  • You feel guilty about eating fast food again, but there’s nothing for dinner, and everyone is cranky.
  • You try so hard to get even a little housework done, knowing you’re only scratching the surface.

Forgetting to relax before bed

  • You finally get the kids to bed, you have a couple of hours to yourself so you reward yourself by opening a bottle of wine, indulging in something sweet, and either keep working or collapse in front of the TV until way too late.

  • You drag yourself into bed, exhausted, and your brain spins while your body is limp with exhaustion. Sex drive? What’s that?
  • You toss and turn without getting much sleep and wake up the next day, only to do it all over again.

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While most of us have a day like this on occasion, for some the frenzy becomes the norm, and we don’t realize the toll it takes on our moods, our minds, and our bodies, including:

  • Blood sugar imbalance 

    • Symptoms—irritability, low energy, fatigue, brain fog, lack of patience, and weight-gain
    • Causes—irregular eating habits, lack of protein during the day, too many refined carbohydrates, and alcohol or sugar on an empty stomach
  • Stress hormone irregularities

    • Symptoms—anxiousness, fat gain, mood instability, lack of concentration and memory, racing heart, sleep problems, restlessness, and fatigue
    • Causes—constant hurrying, lack of sleep, waiting too long to eat, excessive sugar and starch consumption, lack of deep breathing and relaxation
  • Emotional imbalances

    • Symptoms—depression, loneliness, discontent, and exhaustion
    • Causes—lack of rest, which includes social interaction, sexual or loving experiences, support, and community engagement

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