I think we can all agree that mental wellness is an important part of living a healthy and balanced life. What many fail to realize is that keeping track of your moods can help you learn more about yourself and understand what activities benefit your mental health. Even for those that recognize this, it can still be difficult to monitor and keep track of mood changes. Fortunately, there is an easy and effective solution to this problem: mood trackers.
A mood tracker is a simple tool that can help you monitor your emotional states, record patterns, and identify potential triggers. There are multiple ways a mood tracker can help you to better understand your mental health. They can provide valuable insight into how your thoughts and feelings might be impacting your overall well being.
A mood tracker can come in many shapes and forms. There are mood tracker apps, paper mood trackers, and ones you can keep online (some even use Microsoft Excel). Some help you track your mood in hourly increments, others span the length of a year. However, they all help to cultivate more positive emotional states and minimize negative ones.
If you’re new to the idea of using a mood tracker, don’t worry. There’s a TED Talk video on YouTube with over 35 million views that explains how a year of mood tracking does wonders. My favorite insight from the presentation was that using mood trackers instills within you the sense that “When things are not so easy, you can be sure it will go up” . Below, I’ve also outlined some of the ways mood trackers help you take proactive steps in managing your mood.
Track your moods over time
Mood tracking is a great way to stay in tune with your emotions and recognize patterns of how you feel over time. Often, we get so focused in the current moment, we lose perspective. Mood trackers allow you to see the big picture and get a birds eye view of your mood over longer periods. This allows you to monitor your moods on a daily or weekly basis and record how you feel in different areas of your life.
Identify triggers of both your positive and negative moods
Daily mood tracking is a powerful tool used by therapists and counselors to help individuals gain insight into emotional triggers. It’s a great way to identify triggers of both your positive and negative moods. It can help you learn more about yourself and your reactions to certain situations. By taking just a few minutes each day to document your emotions, you can gain a better understanding of your mental health, and even spot patterns that could be causing some issues.
To get started, find a medium that works for you. You can use a traditional paper journal, a spreadsheet, or even a digital mood tracking app. Record your mood at least once a day (if you can, shoot for twice a day). This typically involves simply taking a few moments to rate your current emotional state on a scale. Take notes on what events were responsible for these feelings.
Over time, you’ll be able to identify triggers that had the greatest impact on your mood. At this point you can start making plans to minimize (the bad) and optimize (the good) triggers to give you greater emotional health.
Identify patterns in your moods and emotions
Are there particular days of the week that are worse, or better? Do certain events during the year cause a big impact? Do certain emotions typically come with physical signs (such as headaches, body aches, or fatigue)? These types of patterns will become easier to spot when using a mood tracker.
Develop strategies to optimize your mental health
Developing strategies to optimize your mental health is an important part of self-care. Once you’ve identified the triggers and patterns associated with your mental health, you can use this information to your benefit. Lay out plans to minimize the occurrence of negative triggers by making adjustments to your daily life or environment. In cases where these triggers can’t be avoided, adding in some positive triggers can help balance things out. Think about activities that make you feel good—like listening to your favorite music, going for a walk, or meditating—and use them as tools to manage your mood.
Developing strategies to optimize your mental health is an important part of mood tracking. These strategies can be as simple as scheduling a regular walk, listening to uplifting music, or spending time with loved ones. Even these small acts of self-care can make a big difference to your mental health. It can be easy to focus so much of the tracking that you forget to use this newfound knowledge to your benefit. Set aside a few minutes once a month to see the big picture and focus on developing strategies that incorporate what you’ve learned. After all, you’ve earned it.
Join the club, start tracking your mood today!
Now that you know about how mood trackers can help you and your mental health? Why not get started today? It’s pretty clear that using a mood tracker can help you get the most out of your mental health. Mood tracking can help you gain insight into how your emotions affect your daily life and give you the information you need to make better decisions.
Taking the time to record your mood can help you identify patterns and triggers that influence your daily life. By keeping track of your mood, you can often foresee potential issues and take steps to address them before they become too overwhelming. Starting to track your mood now will give you a better understanding of yourself and help you develop healthier coping strategies going forward.
Mood tracking is simple and (for the most part) can be done for free. Below is a link to download a free printable annual mood tracker. Get started today and see how much better life can be when you are able to manage your moods better.