What is Low Moods
Everyone feels low or down from time to time. It does not always mean something is wrong. Feeling low is common after distressing events or major life changes, but sometimes periods of low mood happen for no obvious reason.
You may feel tired, lacking confidence, frustrated, angry and worried. But a low mood will often pass after a couple of days or weeks – and there are some easy things you can try and small changes you can make that will usually help improve your mood.
If you're still feeling down or no longer get pleasure from things for most of each day and this lasts for several weeks, you may be experiencing depression. The tips on this page should help, but you may also want to find out about what further support is available.
Signs & Symptoms
worried, anxious or panicked
a lack of self-confidence
frustrated or irritated
not interested in things
Or you might notice you start:
withdrawing from your usual activities, particularly ones you used to enjoy or value
spending less time with those you care about
having trouble sleeping
If you have a low mood that lasts 2 weeks or more, it could be a sign of depression.
The two main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of low moods.
Several types of medications are used to help relieve symptoms, depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have and whether you also have other mental or physical health issues. For example:
Certain antidepressants are also used to Low moods
Self - Help
Support groups can give you advice on how to manage your anxiety.
They're also a good way to meet other people with similar experiences.
Examples of support groups you may find useful include:
Support groups can often arrange face-to-face meetings, where you can talk about your difficulties and problems with other people.
Many support groups also provide support and guidance over the phone or in writing.
Ask your GP about local support groups for anxiety in your area, or search online for mental health information and support services near you.
Reading Well for mental health provides helpful information and support, with books on mindfulness and other subjects available free from your local library.
Learn to relax
Avoid smoking and drinking
Find out More:
If low mood is affecting your daily life or causing you distress,
call NHS 111, talk to your GP or refer yourself for psychological therapy through the NHS IAPT service (England only).
Increase helpful activity
Low mood can stop us doing important or enjoyable activities. Try listing these things and doing some each day. Start with easier ones and, as you progress, your mood should improve.
Challenge unhelpful thoughts
The way we think affects the way we feel. Watch our video to learn how to challenge unhelpful thoughts.
Talk to someone
Trusted friends, family and colleagues, or contacting a helpline, can help us when we are struggling. Watch our video for more ideas.
Get better sleep
Low moods can make us feel tired. Tiredness can also have a bad impact on our mood. Watch our video on tips to improve your sleep.
Be kind to yourself
Try to break big tasks down into manageable chunks, and do not try to do everything at once. Give yourself credit when you complete each bit.
Being active, cutting back on alcohol and making sure we have a healthy balanced diet can help boost your mood, and help our wellbeing.
Find out More:
Support for Family & Firends
Emergency Action plan:
If you are having thoughts of suicide, are harming yourself or have thought about self-harm, it's important to tell someone.
These thoughts and feelings can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you do not have to struggle alone.
If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, contact one of the organisations below to get support right away. Or see further NHS advice on dealing with a mental health crisis or emergency.
Free 24-hour listening support
When life is tough, Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.
Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website
Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.
Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line
Urgent, non-emergency medical advice
If you need help urgently but are not at risk of death or serious illness, use the NHS 111 non-emergency advice online.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
People with hearing problems can use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) service.
Crisis support for young people
If you are under 35 and feel that life is not worth living any more, call Papyrus's HopelineUK from 9am to 10pm weekdays and 2pm to 10pm on weekends.
Call HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41
Text 07786 209697
Some more Tips
try the 6 ways to feel happier, which are simple lifestyle changes to help you feel more in control and able to cope
find out how to raise your self-esteem
consider peer support, where people use their experiences to help each other. Find out more about peer support on the Mind website
try mindfulness, where you focus on the present moment
listen to free mental wellbeing audio guides
do not try to do everything at once; set small targets that you can easily achieve
do not focus on the things you cannot change – focus your time and energy into helping yourself feel better
try not to tell yourself that you're alone – most people feel low sometimes and support is available
try not to use alcohol, cigarettes, gambling or drugs to relieve a low mood. These can all contribute to poor mental health