Why You Should Add Mood Tracking To Your Self-Care Routine
Mood tracking is a positive psychology tool for charting how your mood correlates with actions that can help improve your mood: exercise, sleep, medication, etc. It’s a mental health tool that can be a helpful technique for awareness around your emotions throughout a month. It can help you see the patterns of what else is going on when you’re feeling irritable, depressed or anxious.
Charting your mood isn’t for everyone. If you’re constantly thinking about your mental health, and this will make you obsess over it even more, skip it. Or if you’re already feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and this feels like just another thing to add to your to-do list, skip it.
This is simply a tool that can give you awareness around the patterns of these emotions and to see if actions you take to combat these feelings are effective for you. You can even show your doctor and/or therapist to show what your range of moods are throughout the month. Or it can simply be something that you can look back on to see a bigger picture of what you mental health looks like.
You can experiment with adding a new practice into your routine and track to see if it’s improving your mental wellness.
Here are some ideas:
Going to bed earlier
Going on medication or going off of it
Weather (see if lack of sunshine is having an effect on your mood)
Moods to track:
Content / Happy
So here are three helpful tools for tracking your mood:
Keeping a visual log of your moods is a fun way to keep track of them. There are so many creative ways that you can log them. You can create a simple chart or get inspired by some of the many bujo mood tracking examples there are online. Go crazy on Pinterest browsing them for ideas.
We’ve included a few of our favorites below.
You can keep it as simple or extravagant as you want to. It’s your chart, and the only requirement is to keep track of both your moods and new habit. Experiment with a method that works for you, but making it visually appealing could keep you inspired to stay consistent.
Here’s a link to a mood chart example, created by Dr. Peter Brigham if you want a simplified version to use.
Mood tracking apps
1. Perspective, a mindful journal
“Are you spending enough time on the things that make you happy?” That’s a question that Perspective asks through their calm app for tracking your emotional well-being. I just downloaded the app, and I’m excited to experiment with this journaling/tracking method.
They send push notifications with positive thoughts, allow you to see your ratings for the day in a calendar view and allow you to journal and include photos throughout the day. At the end of the week, you’ll rate your overall happiness with how you lived your past week.
Perspective is free to use with a donation option.
Moodpath a personalized mental health tool for assessing your mental health with simple questions, tracking and reflection tools and includes a library of audio and written exercises based on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. There’s helpful insight for reflecting on your moods, so that you can understand them better and improve your self-compassion.
Moodpath requires a paid subscription.
Describe what’s happening in the moment and which feels fit your mood. They help you identify “thinking traps” like mind reading, downplaying positives and fortune telling. You can see how your mood has changed over time. This is a helpful tool for re-thinking the stories you tell yourself and developing healthier thinking habits.
Moodnotes is currently $4.99 on the Apple App Store.
If creating a visual system, like bullet journaling isn’t for you. You can simply keep track in a normal journal on your every day mood. You can create a system based on the different emotions––maybe it’s a simple 10 point scale with a few words to describe your mood throughout the day. This daily gratitude journal includes a chart for happiness level of the day. It’s what I use regularly to keep track of my day – from gratitudes to good things that happened in the day.
Let us know if you’ve experimented with mood tracking. Has it worked for you with self-awareness?