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Emotional Stability & 11 Factors that Control Life’s Highs & Lows

It’s normal to struggle with your emotions sometimes. Life can be hard. But, having emotional stability is important to avoid major problems.

Emotional Stability

We all live pretty stressful lives at times. You might have a long period when everything is wonderful, but at some point, you’re sure to undergo something challenging. That’s not being negative, it’s just life. Nobody has the perfect life where they’re happy at all times – if you do, you’re extremely lucky! When you have ups and downs, it’s normal for your emotions to ebb and flow too, but emotional stability helps you to avoid extremes.

There are a few theories out there in terms of emotions. Some say that we’re born with a range of emotions that are triggered by circumstances. Others say we develop them.

We’ll probably never know for sure but what you can do is learn how to control your emotions and stop them from peaking and causing you to act out of character.

For instance, have you ever been so angry that you said something you didn’t mean? Hopefully, you could take it back, but what if you couldn’t?

When you learn how to achieve emotional stability, it doesn’t mean you never get angry again. It means you know how to stop, take a moment, and control that emotion.

[Read: How to control your emotions and become the pinnacle of restraint]

What is emotional stability exactly?

First, let’s define it before we start talking about it in more detail.

Emotional stability means you’re able to control peaks and troughs. It doesn’t mean you’re constantly happy. That’s an impossible aim.

When a difficult emotion comes your way, such as anger, upset, regret, or sadness, you can experience it and acknowledge it, but you don’t allow it to take you over to the point where it ruins your day or makes you do something you wish you hadn’t. It’s about control. [Read: How to take care of yourself emotionally and avoid falling apart]

It’s easy to assume that you have no control over your emotions because they’re so strong sometimes. But, you have total control. Emotions are chemical responses in the brain – they’re not all-powerful wizards with the ability to take over your body!

When you learn how to control your emotions in this way, you’re more on an even keel. You don’t have the major highs and lows that you may experience otherwise. [Read: Why am I so emotional? Science has the answers you may not expect]

The 11 big factors that determine emotional stability, and how to overcome them

These are several reasons that you may be seeing the extreme highs and lows in yourself or someone else you know.

Several factors can lead to emotional instability both inside and outside of relationships. So, it is important to know the driving force behind you or your loved one’s ability to not healthily deal with life. [Read: How to be emotionless – 16 ways to lose feelings and gain control]

1. A chemical imbalance

There are specific chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. They can make people experience different emotions such as sadness, anxiety, fear, and depression. A lack of serotonin can make someone feel perpetually sad – and without cause.

If you think that this might be something you’re struggling with, a chat with your doctor is a good idea. You can have some investigations done and perhaps they will have an option for treatment. [Read: Emotions you shouldn’t feel in a healthy relationship]

2. Issues in the gut

Research is just beginning to understand how mood is determined by a balance of good and bad bacteria in the intestine. Too much bad bacteria can affect your mood and make it hard for you to stabilize your mood.

Your dietary habits may have more to do with your mood stabilization than you realize.

If you are finding yourself being unable to control your emotions, you may want to take a look at your diet. Cut out high fat and high sugar options and try to eat foods that are naturally high in probiotic content. Also, make sure that you drink more water.

3. Destructive relationships

There are times when destructive relationships can lead to throwing your emotional stability off-kilter. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together that don’t fit. [Read: 15 signs of a toxic relationship that’ll go from bad to worse]

If you continually try to reach your partner and they aren’t reciprocal, or worse, they set you down a course of feeling lonely or hopeless, that can make it difficult to know whether you are coming or going.

Feeling in a constant state of flux, it is hard to know whether you are supposed to feel sad about a love lost, hopeful that you are working it out, or happy because you are finally getting along. One of the biggest emotional stability killers is a destructive and unhappy relationship.

It’s not easy to get to the bottom of why a relationship isn’t doing so well but communication is key. Sometimes all it takes is an open and honest conversation. [Read: 18 critical signs of an unhealthy relationship that need a quick fix]

4. Stress

When people are put under highly stressful conditions, or chronically stressed, their body can only handle so much outpouring of emotions. There are times when being chronically stressed – either in social situations or at work – can lead to emotional instability.

We only have so much coping juice, and if you are always juiced up on stress, something will give. Chronic stress can break even the most stable personality.

How can you tackle stress? Talk about what is bothering you, focus on diet and exercise, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. [Read: 14 really quick stress busters to recharge your mind]

5. Hormones

Your mood is directly related to your hormones. During different times of the month, your hormones change. If they are out of balance, they may have set you on an emotional rollercoaster, making it difficult for you to find emotional stability. It isn’t just hormones like serotonin that control mood, but also things like testosterone and estrogen.

If hormonal imbalances may be an issue for you, again, it’s a good idea to go and have a chat with your doctor who can investigate this for you. [Read: Mind games and how your body’s chemistry affects the way you love]

6. Learned behaviors

There are times when outbursts and mood instability can occur because of poor modeling while growing up. If your boyfriend or girlfriend appears to have extreme shifts in moods, or triggers that make them fly off the handle, that may be less about mood disorders and more about behaviors learned during childhood.

You learn certain patterns of behavior from your parents. If your significant other had an abusive parent or one that had a mood disorder, it is likely they learned poor coping behaviors early on.

Overcoming this can be tough and it’s not something you can force someone else to do. Be there for them and listen to them when they speak to you. If it’s something you’re struggling with personally, speak to someone you can trust, or seek out professional help to undo damaging thought patterns. [Read: Only child syndrome – The good and the bad of dating an only child]

7. Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the most destructive things for mood stabilization. It is recommended that an adult get at least seven hours of sleep at night and no more than ten for the best health mental and physical outcomes.

If your partner has been working overtime or long hours, it may be affecting their ability to deal with the challenges of life. Similarly, if you struggle to get enough sleep at night, make it a priority to change your routine and get more sleep. [Read: Ways volunteer work can help heal depression]

8. Underlying illness

There are certain diseases and illnesses that can cause someone to be less apt in mood stabilization. Things such Epstein-Barr Virus and Hypoglycemia, or even Mitral Valve Prolapse, can lead to symptoms of emotional instability.

Although not as likely, there are instances when being very up or very down can be caused by an underlying condition. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have an underlying problem, but it is something you should bear in mind.

9. Aspartame side effects

Some people react differently to artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. If you are dating a diet soda freak, there is the potential that their symptoms of emotional instability may be related to a side effect of a widely used chemical called aspartame.

The solution to this issue? Cut out the offending drink and change it to something much more natural, i.e. water. [Read: Dating someone with depression – Is it ever worth it?]

10. Dieting or not eating enough

Continual food deprivation, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or severe reduction in calories, can lead to severe mood swings.

If you have noticed that someone is losing a lot of weight or they are dieting and trying too aggressively to drop pounds, it may be showing up in their behavior as extreme mood swings or the inability to maintain emotional stability.

If you are dieting to extremes or you feel like your eating habits are completely unpredictable, focus on this as a priority. Seek help to overcome the issue and make health a priority. [Read: Do you feel emotionally drained? 15 reasons and cures]

11. Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that causes a person to experience both extreme highs and lows. Also known as manic-depression, it can cause someone to behave uncharacteristically, or to be depressed one day, and then the next day to be completely manic. Controlled with medication, it is a highly treatable condition.

If you’re struggling with your moods and you think that may need help, it’s a good idea to go and talk to your doctor. There is no shame in it at all – it’s the bravest thing you can do. Then, they can use their professional experience to work out whether this could be an issue for you and what to do to control it.

Find the cause, find the solution

Some personalities are harder to deal with than others. If you are finding that you or your mate are having a difficult time with mood stabilization, it may be something other than a mood disorder. There are times when other factors are in play when someone is seemingly up one minute and down another.

Highs and lows are just a part of life. But if you aren’t ever sure which mood you are going to encounter with your significant other, or which you are going to be from day-to-day *very happy, or very unhappy,* it may be time to find the cause.

[Read: Sabotaging your happiness – 12 ways you may be ruining your own life]

Seeking medical advice is the best way to deal with getting a better grip on emotional stability. Sometimes, it just takes knowing what the problem is, and then understanding how to fix it.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...