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!
- 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?
- 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.
- 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