Have you ever experienced a slow start to the morning? An angry coworker? How about noticing a scratch on your car as you come back to the grocery store parking lot? These are all valid triggers that can ruin your mood and make you upset.
You might find yourself feeling frustrated, irritable or maybe even angry at the world. That frustration is channeled towards external factors. But, when you find yourself upset with no reason, you might begin to shift that anger inward—blaming yourself and wondering what could possibly be wrong with you.
It should be no surprise to learn that this feeling is totally normal. This confusion with yourself about why you’re so sad this week despite counting your blessings and reminding yourself of the roof over your head.
The first and most important step to overcoming these painful emotions is to become curious as to why you’re feeling them in the first place. There is always a reason for what we feel. Our bodies and minds sending signals to force us to pay attention and heal ourselves.
There are three important components to think about when it comes to determining the source of your pain. The next time you feel this low, here are 3 things that you should consider.
#1 - Your Body
If you are not providing your body with the proper nutrients and rest that it needs, your mind will suffer.
You will be too exhausted to perform and excel at your tasks during the day, and even your emotions will become more difficult to regulate.
We must tune into our bodies and ask ourselves questions like.. “Am I sleeping enough? Did I eat today? Did I eat well? Have I had alcohol recently? Did I move my body and get my blood flowing?”
All of these are important questions to ask yourself if you want to understand the source of your suffering. It is essential to equip your body with the tools that it needs to function well.
#2 - Unhealed Trauma
Maybe you had a really difficult situation happen to you a few years ago. You thought that you dealt with it at the time but really you buried it.
Unhealed trauma has an interesting way of being present, and influencing our perspectives, opinions, and behaviours when we least expect it. If your unhealed trauma is sprouting, inevitably affecting your mood, it might be time to reach out to a mental health professional.
Unhealed trauma doesn't just disappear. It shows up over and over again, becoming louder every time, until you have no choice but to work through it.
#3 - Your Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle is a natural and beautiful part of who you are—despite how it makes you feel. And while it might become more difficult to regulate your emotions depending on where you are in the cycle, it is important to track that movement to better prepare, justify, and adapt to the vulnerability of your period.
This might look like being kinder to ourselves, understanding these feelings will pass soon. Or, it might look like self-care. Listening to your body and where it is in this cycle will help you to work with it, not against it.
It's important to note that our mood is usually affected by a combination of these factors. Your period is coming, you have three exams this week, and you’re losing sleep studying for them. It is no surprise that you’re feeling as crappy as you are. It's during times like these that the best thing that you can do is to give yourself grace and compassion.
If you find yourself feeling stuck and you can’t figure out why you’re feeling this way, especially past the two week mark, it is time to reach out to a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis so that you can get the support you need.
Listen to your body, and be curious about the signals and signs it’s sending you. Your body tells you exactly what it needs!