Low Mood: How to Improve It and Live a Healthier, Happier Life
Low mood can mean different things to different people. You may be feeling a little down but know that you are going to perk up later. We all have periods like that.
When your low mood begins to last longer and occur more regularly, however, it could be symptomatic of something else.
Depression generally starts with a feeling of low mood, and it can creep up on an individual over time. When it’s difficult to shake off, you can begin to let your negative feelings dominate your daily life and get into a cycle that gets gradually worse.
You may have relationship problems, or perhaps you’re getting over a recent bereavement. You might be in a problematic, dead-end job, and your mood is dictated by the stress you are under almost always. Maybe you’ve had a recent accident and are coping with life-changing injuries.
Low mood often leads to other problems. A person finds themselves getting angry, irritable or frustrated. Appetite may suffer, and a person might sleep more than usual.
If your negative feelings or low mood don’t improve, it’s essential to do something positive such as seeing a therapist who will be able to help you explore what is happening and find a solution. There are a lot of techniques available nowadays and plenty of support out there.
CBT and Low Mood
One of the therapies that are used to treat low mood and depression is CBT. This stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and is an evidence-based solution that is used for a variety of mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety.
What is CBT?
Sometimes called ‘talking’ therapy, CBT is recommended by NICE and has been proven to help with conditions such as low mood. It mainly involves changing the way you think about a problem and your behaviour towards it.
For example, if a recent bereavement causes your low mood, CBT allows you to look at this in a more ‘positive’ way and find coping mechanisms to help you cope with your loss. It may impress on you that this is a natural process, and you have to forgive yourself for not being your usual self. It might include using behaviour changes such as improving your diet and taking more exercise, talking about your feelings more and exploring options to alleviate your mood.
How Does It Work?
You work with a qualified CBT therapist will explore areas and identify issues that you can address and improve your symptoms. Each person is an individual and finding practical solutions will be different for everyone depending on their circumstances.
It’s essential to break down your problems into smaller parts so that they don’t seem so impossible. A session with a therapist lasts typically about 30 minutes to an hour, and you can have as few as five or as many as 20 meetings.
During these sessions, you’ll discover more about your issues and the things you can change and then you’ll go away and try to implement these in your daily life.
Can EMDR Help with a Low Mood
EMDR or eye movement desensitisation therapy has been used in the treatment of PTSD but has recently started to be employed for other psychological interventions as well. It is not a talking therapy but uses stimulation to reduce the impact of past traumatic events.
What is EMDR?
Francine Shapiro developed EMDR in the late 1980s, and a wide range of research has shown its effectiveness in helping treat PTSD. It is important in recalling distressing events in someone’s life and is often used in conjunction with other therapies such as CBT.
How Does It Work?
During an EMDR session, the individual is asked to recall a traumatic event while the therapist applies an external stimulus. This may be getting the person to move their eyes from side to side in response to a finger movement, tapping on the hands alternately or using sounds to one ear and then the other.
This sounds very simple but essentially gives the brain more to do, and it can mean that the recall of the traumatic event is less intense. Over time this can have a desensitising effect which means emotions are not as heightened and problematic.
When it comes to low mood, EMDR can be effective if there is an underlying traumatic event in the past and there is increasing evidence that it can help with a variety of patients.
Taking a Mindfulness Approach
Another therapy that can help with low mood is mindfulness. This approach has increased in popularity over the last few years, and there is research evidence to back up its effectiveness. Meditation and mindfulness are useful in combatting pain, reducing stress and alleviating the symptoms of depression.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is an approach where you focus on your own body and become more aware of what is happening at the moment. All too often in modern society, we don’t take enough time to assess how we are feeling and the sensations that we are being bombarded with. Doing so can help in managing all sorts of feelings and making us aware of what is happening.
How Does Mindfulness Work?
Mindfulness takes practice and effort. It involves essentially taking a step back and observing yourself and how you feel. It’s not about ‘emptying’ the mind but getting back in tune with it, so we understand how we are reacting. You will work with your therapist to develop mindfulness and use this as a life skill that should benefit you through your entire life.
Find a Therapist Near Me
If you suffer from a low mood and it is not going away, visiting a qualified therapist can help you to explore any issues and find solutions. At Positive Mind Practice, our professional team of therapists are on hand to assist with a variety of mental health challenges using the latest, evidence-based techniques.
We offer CBT in London as well as EMDR sessions and mindfulness training. Each person is an individual, and our approach will vary depending on your circumstances. If you would like to find out more and book an appointment, contact our professional, friendly team today.