Mood Tracking is Necessary for Mental Health, Here’s Why
octubre 13, 20214 lectura mínima
For better or worse, our moods affect our experiences, perceptions, the way we treat people and even our physical health. Given the enormous power our moods have over our overall quality of life, what can we do to better manage them?
No one wants to be a slave to their mood swings, so how can we become aware of our triggers, patterns or anything else that can affect our moods?
Mood Tracking Using Your Bullet Journal
Tracking your mood is a helpful mental health exercise. It allows us to not only acknowledge our feelings but to become more aware and accountable of our patterns and tendencies.
For this, a dedicated mood tracker comes in really handy. Have a record of your moods, recorded at regular intervals as part of your daily routine. Mood trackers can be digital (apps) or analog (bullet journals).
Bullet journals are incredibly popular as trackers. It offers an easy, convenient and inexpensive way to markdown and monitor something — anything really — that you’d like to be more mindful of.
Some examples include habits, water intake, food log and of course moods. In case you need more convincing as to why you should be tracking your moods, read on.
Why mood-tracking is necessary for mental health:
We need a space for self-validation.
As human beings, we experience a range of emotions, good, bad and everything in between. We are socialized to suppress, ignore or even deny some of these emotions, especially when we’re busy with other pressing matters.
Mood tracking will allow us to slow down and take stock of what we’re really feeling, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Acknowledging our emotions is the first crucial step to attending and responding to them appropriately.
These regular check-ins give us the opportunity to be honest with ourselves about the state of our emotional well-being. When we spend the better part of our day setting our emotions aside for the sake of productivity or conformity, these moments are especially important.
We need a space to feel our feelings.
By acknowledging our moods and emotions and recording them on our bullet journal mood trackers, we permit ourselves to feel. Let’s take the time to celebrate our wins and mourn our losses.
Granted, not all feelings are productive or beneficial but they are all valid. Maybe we’re feeling suspicious, bitter or envious. Maybe we know that some of our feelings are not rational or healthy. These feelings need to be processed, not suppressed.
When we happen to be in a good mood, we should be embracing and basking in it as well, especially if these moods are fewer and farther in between than we would hope.
We need to recognize our triggers.
When tracking our moods, the more detailed we are, the better. This way, when we look back, we will also be able to identify circumstances that correlate or directly cause a specific mood or reaction. In short, we’ll know our triggers.
Maybe we’ll notice that we tend to have less energy and motivation after spending time with a certain person or after gorging ourselves on a particular dessert. Maybe we’ll discover that we have a shorter fuse and get irritated more easily when we skip our morning workout.
Triggers can be anything and anyone and they can be both external and internal.
Recognizing our triggers is extremely important when it comes to managing our emotions and the behaviors that follow. Self-awareness is a powerful tool that can help us manage our day-to-day lives.
Knowing your triggers is especially crucial for anyone suffering from mental health issues like anxiety or PTSD. It will help them avoid those triggers and cope better when they find themselves in the middle of an episode like a panic attack.
It helps with our diagnosis.
Aside from self-awareness, keeping a record of our moods will also benefit our healthcare providers, such as counselors, therapists, psychiatrists and life coaches.
Not surprisingly, psychiatrists often recommend keeping a detailed log of moods, especially when their patient is on medication. It helps them understand the efficacy of the medication and to adjust it as needed.
Monitoring our moods will also help our therapists and life coaches monitor our progress. They rely on our reports and disclosures after all. The more information they have, the better they can help us.
It helps us communicate our feelings better.
Some people find it really difficult to acknowledge their emotions. Some find it difficult to even name them. There is a very real tendency for people to stew in their emotions, whether negative or positive, without bothering with nuance or self-reflection.
For instance, they may feel angry, but they don’t know if that anger stems from fear, disappointment, or something else. Even if they want to share, they may not have the right tools to recognize and verbalize what they feel.
By making the conscious and daily effort to try to pin down our feelings using a mood tracker, we will be better at expressing our emotions with our loved ones and communicating our needs and our boundaries to them.
Start tracking your mood today. Our mental health needs as much care and attention as our physical health. As we mentioned some paragraphs ago, there are many ways to do this. If you love stationery or if you’re a big believer in the supremacy of analog journals, then keeping a mood tracker in your journal is the way to go.
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