On a scale from 0, being the worst you’ve ever felt, to 10, being the best you’ve ever felt, how did you feel yesterday? How about on Thursday? Unless you are actively keeping track, your likely answer is “I have no idea.” You may even go one step further and ask “Why does it matter?” Research has shown that mood tracking can lead to better mental health.
Although checking in daily is ideal, even weekly mood tracking can give you valuable insights into what makes you happy, mad, sad, content, anxious and a whole host of other emotions. These could decide if your mood is a 2 or an 8 on any given day.
Armed with this new treasure trove of data, you can start to make actual lifestyle changes for the better. Do you find after a night out drinking, your mood decreases a point from the day before? Maybe cutting back could be beneficial to your body and mind. Do you find that going to see an amazing band ups your score by two points? Integrating more concerts and music into your life could be a mood saver.
If you are in therapy, being able to walk into your appointments with more information can help you and your therapist. With this information, together you can understand your positive and negative triggers and tailor your therapy accordingly. This saves time in your sessions and can expedite your recovery.
How does one monitor their mood? Well, there are three different ways you can do that.
1. Pen and paper. Every day at the same time (morning, afternoon or before bed) write down a score and jot down some notes about how are you feeling in a notebook. This is the most convenient and portable method of mood tracking.
2. Spreadsheet. Open up a spreadsheet application and make three columns: date, mood score, and notes. Every day at the same time, fill in the columns. With this, you can run some great analytics and even make graphs.
3. Applications. There are great web and mobile applications that can keep track of these things for you. There are many applications out there including Moodscope (web-based), Daylio (iOS) and iMoodJournal.
Tracking your mood does not have to be a big ordeal and will take minutes to do during the course of your day. Considering the positive benefits that mood tracking can have, I highly encourage you to sacrifice those few minutes to improve your day and your life.
To make your mood tracking even easier, available now is The Mood and Productivity Journal. The Mood and Productivity Journal will give you space to both log your mood and track your productivity every single day.