Emotional Instability: Why Every Day Isn’t the Same

If your emotional instability is fairly short-term you shouldn’t worry or assume it’s going to get worse, because we all have good and bad days. If it lasts for a long time, however, you should seek help from a professional.
Emotional Instability: Why Every Day Isn’t the Same
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Emotional instability includes those ups and downs in your state of mind that you may suffer over a short period of time.

More often than not, you might not know where it comes from: that sudden sadness, joy, or disinterest.

First of all, it’s important to make something clear: there are many different types of emotional instability.

There are, without a doubt, serious personality disorders where your ups and downs are chaotic and disruptive, which can develop into a complex neurosis for which adequate psychological treatment is needed.

In today’s article, however, we want to focus on the other end of the spectrum, that of emotional instability that’s short in duration and less intense. Additionally, this is something that most of us have experienced at one time or another.

It’s not necessarily a clinical problem, but there are times when it seems like a dark cloud blocks out the sun, and shadows appear bigger than ever. You may feel as if something inside you has changed but you don’t know why.

Here’s what you can do about your emotional instability.

Causes of Emotional Instability

There are people who always seem unstable. Sometimes everything is going so well and other times every project they’re involved with has fallen to pieces because their mind has changed.

These types of personalities are often very conflicted. They can be difficult to trust or deal with. In addition, living with them can be like riding a roller coaster. It’s all ups and downs.

Now setting aside the personality profiles and clinical problems, let’s find out now why you might experience these problems during certain times.

Woman with bird on shoulder depressed dreaming of something better emotional instability

Low self-esteem

Everyone has gone through times that are as complex as they are delicate. Occasionally, a relationship filled with such ups and downs can result in emotional dependence.

It’s important to know that a person who is very attached to their partner because they feel like a victim may eventually develop low self-esteem. This is very common and often leads to emotional instability.

There may be times when you tell yourself that you love your partner and other people in your life. However, you feel angry and frustrated because you’re simply unhappy.

Hidden depression

As specialists have explained, many people today – especially men – go through depression without having it diagnosed.

It’s much more difficult for some people to open up and ask for help, so they suffer silently from their problems.

Hidden depression can manifest through the following symptoms:

  • Emotional instability
  • Bad mood
  • Apathy
  • Fatigue
  • Negative thoughts

Stress from day to day

This is without a doubt the most common cause of emotional instability. External pressure and the way you manage stressful situations will definitely influence your mood.

There will be days when you can deal with anything. However, there will also be times when everything is too much.

Blue sad mermaid floating in sea with fish emotional instability

Hormonal changes

Premenstrual syndrome usually causes some emotional changes or ups and downs. We should mention, however, that these mood alterations only intensely affect 10% of women.


We have a lot more information about the chemistry of the brain than we used to. As a result, we know that genetics can play an important role in the development of emotional instability.

Scientists have found alterations in the levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. These are involved in the regulation of your mood and emotions.

In these cases, and whenever your emotional instability is so intense that it affects your quality of life, it’s important that you receive the appropriate treatment.

How to Cope With Emotional Instability

First and foremost, understand that everyone has good days and bad days. Even more than that, it’s normal that throughout the day you’ll experience little dips in your mood and will soon recover.

Humans aren’t robots. We are emotional beings that react in different ways to stimuli, depending on the moment.

There will be days when you feel more worried, more vulnerable, and other times when you’re unexpectedly motivated and able to take on anything.

Your brain will always try to protect you during these acute situations, so try implementing the following strategies:

  • Relax your mind, block out negativity, and get some exercise. Go for a hike, ride a bike, paint, or walk along the beach or in a forest.
  • Talk with yourself. Furthermore, take care of your needs and understand what has a grip on your mind.
  • Open up to someone who understands you. Explain how you’re feeling, share a moment of relaxation, and you’ll find it very cathartic.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.