How to Track Your Moods
Mood tracking makes understanding your mood triggers or patterns and talking to mental health professionals easier. If you see a therapist, one of the questions they might ask you is how you would rate your level of anxiety and/or depression. Answering this question can be difficult, as moods change all the time. If you had a terrible week but feel good at the time of your appointment, you might be tempted to say that your depression is low. However, the best way to manage anxiety and depression is to acknowledge your overall mood from a specific time period (such as a week or a month). An effective way to rate your moods accurately is to track them every day.
Things to Remember as You Track Your Moods
Be Mindful About Typical Triggers and Symptoms
One reason it is so difficult to track your moods is that life is really busy. Even if you know your triggers and mental health symptoms, it is impossible to count the exact number of times you experience all of them.
For instance, if your job requires you to interact with hundreds of people, you might get frustrated with someone or notice your muscles tense up every few minutes. You do not have to count the number of times you notice your triggers and symptoms to know that you struggle with them. By being aware of them, you can gauge your overall mood at the end of the day.
Remember Every Day Is Different
Even if you encounter certain symptoms and triggers every day, it is important to remember that every day is different. The things that upset you one day might upset you a little less the next day. Some days, something good might happen to lessen the impact of frustration. For instance, if you have a difficult class, talking to a friend beforehand might help you feel more relaxed.
Being mindful of changes can show you that you might not struggle with anxiety all the time. Or at least, a high level of anxiety will not remain constant. If you have some free time throughout one of your days, you can get a better idea about your moods by tracking them at different times.
Avoid Stigmatizing Yourself for Your Mood
Do you ever feel ashamed for struggling with a mood disorder? If so, you probably engage in negative thinking and self-talk. For instance, you might tell yourself to stop feeling sorry for yourself because other people have it much worse. The truth is that all your moods and struggles are valid.
By avoiding self-stigma and harsh judgment, it will be easier for you to accept your thoughts and moods. Being honest about how you feel and what triggers your emotions will help you identify the severity of your moods.
Find a Mood Tracking Method that Works for You
Using a mood tracking method that works for you is important for you to identify your moods accurately. If you are a visual person, using different colors for high and low moods can help you distinguish them from each other. If you enjoy writing and using technology, you can utilize mood tracker apps and keep a mood journal. Just remember that mood tracking method preferences are different for everyone. Choose the method you think will benefit you the most.
Hopefully, this post will now make it easier for you to track your moods. Do you have any advice or insight about mood tracking methods? If so, go ahead and share in the comments.
Lueck, M. (2021, January 16). How to Track Your Moods, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, September 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2021/1/how-to-track-your-moods
Author: Martha Lueck
These are wonderful suggestions and I think this kind of practice can be extremely useful for so many working with their mental health. I love your reminder to avoid self-stigma and negative self-talk since bringing our awareness to our moods can sometimes trigger this type of behavior. Beautiful share.