There’s a reason that we associate menopause, PMS, and adolescence with moodiness. There’s a genuine link between your hormone levels and your mood or mental state. While your hormones are far from the only thing affecting your moods, their balance (or lack thereof) can lead to you feeling better, energized, and more positive, or sluggish, cranky, and more susceptible to negative moods. Unsurprisingly, this means that long-term hormonal issues can show up in what your mental health looks like. The coming winter months are a time when a lot of people struggle with their mental health, and if yours is already in a place that’s less than ideal, now is a good time to be looking at contributing factors that you could fix to help yourself start feeling better, and your hormones might be one of them! Here are some of the ways that your hormones affect your mental health.
Mood swings, or sudden and unpredictable shifts in a person’s mood, are common symptoms of any body state that puts your hormones out of whack. Teenagers, PMSing women, and menopausal women are often written off as “hormonal” any time they’re a little less chipper than usual, but mood swings caused by your hormones can be a legitimate problem for some people. If you’re finding yourself surprised by your own mood changes and feeling as though you have little control over how you feel throughout the day, this might be the reason.
Low Mood and Low Energy
The sex hormones in particular (mainly estrogen and testosterone) play a very significant role in your energy levels. If your levels are off-balance, particularly if they’re lower than they should be, you might find yourself struggling with fatigue, sluggishness, brain fog, and other low-energy related problems. This low energy can lead to low mood as well. Depression and fatigue are very closely linked, and if you don’t have enough energy to be happy and engaged in your life, you’ll certainly struggle with feeling sad or numb for long periods of time.
Hormone imbalances can also have a negative effect on the way your body handles stress and worry, leading you to deal with pounding heartbeats and racing thoughts anytime you start to fret about something. Some people struggle with anxiety that is completely unrelated to their hormones, but others might notice it getting worse during times when their hormone levels are changing, such as prior to a period. Additionally, if you’re developing new anxiety alongside other symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, the two issues are likely to be related.
The amount of sleep you get and the quality of your sleep are absolutely vital to every aspect of your health, including your mental health. Poor sleep and struggling with your mental health go hand in hand, affecting each other in a vicious cycle– being sad or anxious makes it harder to sleep well, which in turn makes you more sad and anxious. Imbalances in your hormones can also make it hard for you to get to sleep or stay asleep, leading to a whole host of unpleasant physical and mental health symptoms.
What to Do?
Taking a look at your diet is a good place to start when trying to make positive changes to your physical or mental health. Eating balanced meals full of nutritious, nourishing foods throughout the day gives your body the necessary tools to function properly!
Get Enough Exercise
The feel-good hormones that get released in your brain when you’re physically active can be incredibly helpful in combating mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Regular exercise also helps you to regulate the various rhythms and functions of your body, including your hormonal levels.
Consider Mental Health Treatment
If your moods, emotions, and thoughts are starting to affect your life, work, and relationships, it’s time to seek out professional help. Therapy and medication can help people make incredible changes and move towards happiness and positivity in their lives. They might help you, too!
If you suspect that your hormone levels are playing a role in your mental health struggles, it’s a good idea to seek out a specialist like the ones on the team at Renewed Vitality for help! They can address these symptoms and others that you may be having and propose treatment plans that can help you to start feeling like yourself again. If you’re interested in learning more, make sure you contact us today!