In this article, we explore the causes of mood swings in teenagers and how to cope with them.
Have you ever felt irritated, upset or angry and can’t even figure out the reason. At times, you shout at younger siblings, slam doors, kick your toys. You feel no one loves you or understands you and you want to shut your ears to those never ending lectures from your parents on good behaviour and studies and so on. Well, if you do experience all this, you are growing up and the good news is that all this is just a normal part of growing up.
All human beings experience a wide range of emotions like anger, jealousy, hatred, love but to live happily we all learn to manage our emotions. In simple terms we learn to control our aggression and our impulses simply because we want to be loved and appreciated by others. You wouldn’t appreciate an irritable, short tempered and cranky person, would you? So, in other words, understanding and managing our emotions or our mood swings is vital for achieving a balanced mind and helps us adjust well with our environment.
Before we learn how to manage it, let’s look at some scientific facts to understand it better.
Research shows that a teenage brain is capable of very strong emotions but the part of the brain responsible for managing it- the prefrontal cortex takes the longest time to develop. An adolescent brain thus relies on ‘amygdala’ a part of the brain associated with impulses, aggression and instincts which explains all the mental confusion often leading to mood swings.
Did you know that children’s brains have massive growth spurts when they are young. By the time they reach age 6, their brains are already about 90-95% of the adult size.
The brain continues to develop until we reach the twenties but needs a lot of remodeling which happens intensively during adolescence.
Thus, adolescence is a stressful time. It can be easily understood as a chick trying to break its way out from its shell, so it could explore the big beautiful world and make its own identity. So next time you are in an awful mood, feel confused, angry or rebellious, remember, it is your teenage brain in the process of growing and developing into an adult mind.
Now that you have learned that mood swings are an inevitable part of growing up, the question is: What do we do? Can we manage or control our mood swings? The answer is yes. It is possible to get through a mood swing without harming our selves or people around us.
Here are some very simple things you can do to manage or control your mood swings:
- Sit at a quiet place, close your eyes and breathe deeply counting at least 15 times. Deep breathing calms us and focuses our mind on positive energies.
- Put on your jogging shoes and go for a jog / walk for 20 minutes. Physical exercises help release our happy hormones.
- Write a diary – Writing a daily diary is an excellent outlet and especially in a bad mood, it can lead to easy and peaceful outburst of emotions.
- Put on your favorite music. This will help enlighten your mood.
- Cry if you must as it is a healthy way to let out those pent up feelings.
- Talk to a trustworthy person – a friend, a parent, an uncle / aunt and express what you feel at that point. This will not only help you gain another view point of your problem but also make you calmer as you share and express.
- Don’t try to find all the answers. Remember, it’s normal to feel irritable and upset at times. So, don’t stress yourself. Smile to yourself and say, “It’s ok. I am going to be fine.”
The vital thing is to recognise your mood swings and learn to manage or control them so they don’t become a part of your personality. So, deal with them like a smart teen and have a happy and enjoyable teenage!