Table of Contents
- 1. Mood drops can be scary
- 2. So, what’s the lessons to be learned?
- 3. Finally
Mood and emotional drops can be frightening.
I had my first sudden-mood-drop in many years this past Saturday. Everything was set in motion. Poor sleep, working outside in the heat (I get sick in the heat), reflecting on how much I missed my mom, and perhaps most importantly, not realizing how I had let my thoughts meander projecting that loss to worry about future ones. I know those are my triggers and I should’ve paid closer attention.
In my book, I devote a day to the subject of finding the cause for our depression, or in this case a sudden mood drop, and how that most of the time if we look back over the day, or even the few days prior, we will find it the cause.
2. So, what’s the lessons to be learned?
a. Know your triggers.
We do this by paying attention to ourselves. It’s not that hard. What have you been doing? Have you been sleeping and eating correctly? Have you been dwelling on negative thoughts? How about anger? Is there something you just can’t let go? All of these can be a trigger and are triggers for a lot of people. And don’t underestimate your sleep patterns. Too little sleep can definitely trigger a mood drop.
But you may have specific ones unique to you.
b. Give thanks
Giving thanks when you are feeling panicky isn’t easy. I would love to know how many verses there are in the Bible that instruct us to give thanks. Most of us are familiar with Philippians 4: 6: “Be anxious for nothing but with prayer and thanksgiving make your requests know to God.”
This verse means we should let God in on how we’re feeling while at the same time, thanking him for the answers. A grateful heart goes a long way in stopping a plummeting mood in its track, which is exactly why God made sure it ended up in his word. You don’t think God knows how our minds work? He’s the one who created them, remember? Every instruction in scripture takes our whole body into consideration. God is the author of holistic therapy.
c. Redirect your thinking to redirect your moods
A continuation of the verse in Philippians 4 says in verse 8 to think about certain things and he lists true things first. God is saying, “Redirect your thinking.” It is the foundation for dealing with mood drops, anxiety, depression, and a host of other mood disorders
But here’s the zinger. You have to know what is true. If you let your sullied emotions determine them, you won’t know the truth. So what is the truth?
Some of the great truths I fall back on are:
- God loves me.
- He sees the good in me.
- God has a plan for me.
- The God of the universe sees me.
- I have eternal life
- Heaven is real
- God can do what he says he can do.
- God is who he says is.
- I am loved.
- I love.
Those are just starters. Make your own list you can fall back on.
Challenge your thinking. Just because you think something is true, doesn’t mean it is. Deconstruct your thinking until you come to the truth. I’ll use myself as an example.
Thought. “I’m feeling sad because the anniversary of my mother’s death is coming this week. Who else am I going to lose? Will I be all alone someday? “
d. Challenge your thinking about your moods
Here’s how I might challenge my thinking.
I have family who loves me so why do I think I will be all alone? But just what if for some reason, I am all alone?
God will never leave me. He promises to never leave me alone or abandon me. I can trust him with my life.
But even this conversation may leave me with a nagging sense of, “do I really believe this last part or not? Or am I just trying to convince myself? I think we do that at times. We know we should believe something because other Christians say they do, so we try to talk ourselves into belief.
The truth. The truth is no one really knows what they believe, or at least the strength of their beliefs until those beliefs are challenged. Think of the apostle Peter. He professed great beliefs but when faced with the very first challenge to those beliefs, he caved.
So, when I have this talk with myself, I ask myself that question. Not to cause me to doubt myself but to make me aware I can never know God or his word well enough. I don’t want to try and convince myself.
e. We distract ourselves until we figure it out.
If you feel your mood dropping, distract yourself with some sort of wholesome activity. I have a page in my journal with ideas I can turn to. Although, for me, I can almost always find a distraction. That’s the problem sometimes.
Distractions are wonderful in the short term. But as a long term strategy, not so much. It’s much better to know your triggers and avoid them.
f. Look back over your day or days.
Or even the past few. Many times we don’t realize how we’ve been frantically busy. How we’ve not slept well. How stress has built up. Maybe we’ve just been feeling under-par a little. Maybe too much clutter has built up.
More than likely, though, it’s been our thought life. We’ve been using a lot of negative words to characterize ourselves and others. We’ve been dwelling on something we should have let go of a long time ago.
That’s why it’s good to think back over our day and see if we’re heading down a rabbit hole.
Finally, don’t be afraid when your mood drops all of a sudden. It doesn’t mean you are heading for a great fall.
It just means you should step back and examine what you’ve been doing, how you’ve been taking care of yourself, and how you’ve been thinking. I wish there were a shortcut but there isn’t.
But a final word. Even if you do everything I suggest, there may be times, you can’t determine what caused your sudden mood drop. The six steps I suggest will help you in the future. And, remember, our bodies are very complex and it could have been a sudden drop in blood sugar levels or some other medical reason. If it keeps happening and you honestly cannot figure out why, please talk with your doctor.