Common Causes Of Low Mood And Practical Steps You Can Take To Alleviate Them

Common Causes Of Low Mood

In our increasingly complex and demanding world, low mood can frequently sneak into our lives, imposing itself unwelcomingly and affecting our overall quality of life. Low mood is not necessarily the same as clinical depression, but a more temporary, fluctuating state of mind that can be influenced by a range of factors. It’s essential to know what might be causing your low mood to effectively manage and alleviate it. 

Lack of Sunlight

A prevalent trigger of low mood is the lack of exposure to sunlight. Sunshine naturally boosts the levels of serotonin, the body’s primary mood enhancer. During the winter months or in regions where sunlight is scarce, our exposure decreases, which can lead to feelings of sadness and lethargy. This phenomenon is often seen in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is at its worst during the colder and darker months, when we’re less likely and able to venture out in daylight hours. To counteract this, try to maximise your time outdoors during daylight hours. A quick lunchtime walk or a leisurely weekend hike can do wonders. If that’s not feasible, consider investing in a light therapy box. These devices mimic natural sunlight and can help maintain your mood balance during the darker months.

Poor Sleep

The relationship between sleep and mood is undeniable. Lack of rest can exacerbate feelings of irritability, sadness, and anxiety, creating a vicious cycle of low mood and sleep deprivation. Furthermore, sustained lack of sleep can negatively impact your physical health, cognitive function, and overall productivity. To ensure a higher quality of sleep, develop a regular sleep schedule, setting fixed times for going to bed and waking up. Limit screen time before bed, as the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt your sleep cycle. Make your sleep environment as calm and peaceful as possible. Regular physical activity during the day can also aid deeper, more restful sleep.


Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but when it becomes chronic, it can lead to persistent low mood. Stressful events, no matter how small, can trigger feelings of anxiety, frustration, and sadness, which might accumulate over time. Managing stress effectively can significantly improve your mood. Practical techniques include mindfulness practices, such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. Regular physical exercise is also a potent stress buster. Eating a balanced diet and maintaining a strong network of friends and family are other effective ways to manage stress levels.

Poor Nutrition

Diets high in processed foods, refined sugars, and caffeine can lead to energy crashes, mood swings, and feelings of lethargy and low mood. Try focusing on a more balanced, nutritious diet. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Keeping yourself adequately hydrated throughout the day can also improve your mood. If you’re unsure about meeting all your nutrient needs through diet alone, consider a multivitamin or other dietary supplements after consulting with a healthcare provider.

Lack of Physical Activity

Physical movement directly affects our emotional state, largely due to the production of endorphins, known as the ‘feel-good’ hormones. Consistent physical activity has the potential to noticeably enhance your mood. It’s important to remember that the focus should be on consistent, pleasurable physical activity, not harsh fitness routines. Start with smaller steps and gradually heighten your level of activity.

Social Isolation

We are inherently social creatures. Isolation, either physical or emotional, can lead to feelings of loneliness and low mood. Connecting with others helps us share our experiences, gain different perspectives, and feel a sense of belonging. Try engaging more with your community, spending time with loved ones, or even consider volunteering. If physical interactions are limited due to external circumstances, technology can bridge the gap. Engage in video calls, join online forums or communities centred around your interests, and try to foster meaningful connections.

Unresolved Emotional Issues

At times, persistent low mood may stem from unresolved emotional issues or past traumas. These unresolved feelings can weigh heavily on our minds, causing stress and leading to a constant state of low mood. Mental health professionals can provide you with the tools to understand and process these feelings effectively. You’re not alone in this journey.

Hair Loss

Hair loss can significantly impact one’s mood and self-esteem. It’s not just about physical appearance but also the psychological implications, especially when it occurs prematurely or rapidly. Hair is often associated with identity and self-expression, and losing it can evoke feelings of sadness, stress, and low mood. If you’ve experienced hair loss, talk to your GP or a specialist to makes sure you know what the underlying cause is. There are several treatment options available, including topical applications, oral medications, and even certain cosmetic procedures. You can find out plenty of information about medical treatments from the experts over at

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can also lead to fluctuations in mood. Conditions like hypothyroidism, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, or andropause can significantly impact mood and overall mental health. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance might be the root cause of your low mood, consult with a healthcare provider. Treatment could range from medication, lifestyle modifications, to natural supplements, all aimed at restoring hormonal balance and improving your mood.

Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness can be emotionally challenging, often resulting in a persistent state of low mood. The constant management of symptoms, regular medical appointments, and the impact on day-to-day life can feel overwhelming. Developing coping strategies is crucial to managing your mood under such circumstances. Consider joining a support group where you can connect with others facing similar challenges. Practising self-care, educating yourself about your condition, and leaning on your support system are all valid and necessary parts of managing chronic illness.

Lack of Self-Care

Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, affecting our mood and overall wellbeing. Prioritise self-care activities that you truly enjoy, whether it’s reading a book, taking a relaxing bath, or pursuing a hobby. These acts of self-love and relaxation can significantly boost your mood and prevent feelings of overwhelm.

Overwork and Burnout

In the modern era, being constantly busy is often worn as a badge of honour. However, chronic overwork can lead to burnout – a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that can result in a severe low mood. Long hours, high pressure, and little time for relaxation or social activities can create an unhealthy work-life balance, taking a toll on your mood and overall wellbeing. If you’re feeling overworked, it’s essential to address it before it escalates to burnout. Learn to set boundaries and say ‘no’ when necessary. Prioritise tasks and try not to overwhelm yourself with an unmanageable workload. Breaks are important; they give you time to refresh and should be integrated into your day. 


Low mood, while common, can significantly impact our lives. However, by identifying the possible triggers and taking practical steps to address them, we can alleviate these feelings. It’s perfectly okay and necessary to seek help when you need it – there’s no need to face these challenges alone. Your emotional health matters, and with the right support and strategies, you can navigate through periods of low mood and work towards enhanced wellbeing.

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