There are many common signs and symptoms of low mood. You may think in a very negative way about yourself; feel overwhelmed, irritable or upset; and not be able to concentrate or withdraw from people or hobbies. Physical symptoms of low mood can also present as a lack of energy, poor memory, sleep problems and changes in appetite.
It can be hard to release control of your emotions and experience them, but if you feel overwhelmed, pause and remind yourself you are safe, and do something comforting or relaxing. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions somewhere safe can help you identify them.
Ways to help with low mood:
- Try to relax. Go somewhere you feel safe and comfortable. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and try to relax.
- Pay attention to your body. You might be expressing your emotions physically. This can help you understand what emotion you’re feeling. For example, if your heart is beating fast and your breathing is shallow, that might suggest fear or panic. If your muscles are tense, you might be angry.
- Turn your attention inwards and try to focus on how you feel. Try not to pass judgement on your emotions, just allow them to be. If you can, try to name your feelings.
- How strong are your feelings? You might find it helpful to rate your emotions out of ten. For example, how much out of ten are you feeling anger, sadness, or fear?
- Emotions are complicated and we rarely feel just one emotion at a time. You might be feeling a mix of emotions that change throughout the day.
- Once you’ve identified a feeling it can be helpful to know why you’re experiencing it.
- Take time to ask yourself, ‘Why do I feel this way?’ This can help you identify thoughts or beliefs at the root of your feelings.