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Mood Swings

Taking Control of your life!

Here are some things you can do that might make those bad moods a bit easier to handle:

  • Recognize you're not alone. Although not every teen experiences mood changes to the same degree, they are common. Each person's experience is different and can vary based on age and gender.
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  • Catch your breath. Just take a time out for yourself! Count to 10. Or do something that lets you settle down for a few moments, especially if you're feeling angry or irritable. Try to look at the situation from the point of view of a wise observer. Let your mind look at the bigger picture.
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  • Talk to people you trust. Friends can help each other by realizing that they're not alone in their feelings. Sometimes just knowing that someone else is feeling the way you do can really help! Talking to parents is important, too. Parents can share their own different situations that have arised in their life. Plus, they'll appreciate it if you try to explain how you feel instead of just slamming a door. Teachers and counselors are often good resources, and a doctor can help sort through questions about development. Keeping feelings inside can make them seem much worse and cause a sence of being alone in how your feeling.
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  • Exercise. Regular exercise produces more beta-endorphin, a hormone that controls stress and improves mood. Go for a run, play some tennis, ride your bike, or punch a punching bag. Anything that can help relieve stress.
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  • Get enough sleep. Though it can be hard to find enough time in the busy lives we live, getting adequate rest is very important. Being tired can lead to more sadness and irritability.
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  • Create. Get involved in some sort of project, like starting a journal or diary, building something out of wood, or starting an art or music piece. Something that puts your creative side to work.  Writing can help you organize and express your thoughts and feelings and will make things more manageable. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation; the important thing is just to get your thoughts on paper. Do the same thing with paint, sculpture, music, or other art forms. Put your feelings into your artwork.
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  • Cry. There's nothing wrong with crying; in fact, it often makes a person feel better. It can be a stronge stress reliever.  However, if you find that you are sad, irritable, bored, or hopeless much of the time, or if you just can't seem to shake the blues, you might be depressed and need help from a counselor or doctor. If you're feeling stressed or angry a lot of the time, getting help could be very useful for you and nothing to be ashamed of.
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  • Wait. Just as you can get into a bad mood for what seems like no reason at times, that mood can also pass just as fast. If your negative mood sticks around too long, though — or if it's interfering with the way you deal with friends, parents, school, or activities — then you may want to talk to a school counselor, parent, or therapist about what you can do to feel better.

Dr. Kai Bennett

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