Introduction to mood trackers
How many times have you excused your behaviour with your friends and family for being in a “bad mood”? Our moods undeniably affect our daily interactions, both positively and negatively. But, how can we practice patience with ourselves when faced with a bad mood? And how can we become aware of certain triggers and patterns that affect our moods? Bullet journal mood trackers are an incredibly effective mental health tool to not only acknowledge our feelings, but in becoming self aware of our patterns and tendencies.
Why should you use a bullet journal mood tracker? 6 benefits to tracking your mood:
1. Bullet journal mood trackers act as a space to acknowledge your feelings
Emotional variability is natural and normal for the human brain. However, we often repress these feelings when caught up in our busy lives and schedules. Moreover, our negative feelings sometimes go unnoticed when we are occupied with other tasks. It is incredibly important to take a step back and acknowledge our feelings in order to attend to them accordingly.
By using a bullet journal mood tracker, you are able to create routine check-ins with yourself. This allows for consistent assessments of your mental wellbeing. By doing so, you are enforcing regular check-ins of your mood, and consistently acknowledging your feelings. After acknowledging any negative feelings, you will be able to take the appropriate steps you personally need to feel better.
2. Bullet journal mood trackers allow you to better responding to your feelings
When you acknowledge your feelings through a bullet journal mood tracker, you are able to understand which steps in responding to these emotions work best for you. Feeling sad? Perhaps taking a moment to address this feeling and journaling is something that works best for you. Feeling anxious? Maybe taking a moment to assess the current stressors in your life would be an effective next step.
In contrast, when you’re in a good mood, perhaps rewarding yourself with a sweet treat helps you embrace this moment. By recording your feelings in a bullet journal mood tracker, you are able to easily recall which response worked best for you last time you acknowledged a similar feeling, and act accordingly.
3. Bullet journal mood trackers allow you to recognize your triggers and patterns
When using bullet journal mood trackers, you are able to correlate triggers that lead to specific moods. For example, you might notice that you are in better moods when visiting supportive friends, or after a therapy appointment. In contrast, you might note negative moods when interacting with a certain coworker, or when visiting a triggering location. These correlations are extremely important in recognizing your triggers and patterns, and consequently avoiding situations that could result in a bad mood.
This is especially helpful and prevalent for those with PTSD, as becoming aware of triggers can help prevent a negative episode. Similarly, people with anxiety can use bullet journal mood trackers to acknowledge and avoid triggers that could lead them to experiencing a panic attack. If a trigger cannot be avoided, a bullet journal mood tracker can help you recognize when the trigger might be present, and allow you to prepare coping mechanisms in advance.
Overall, understanding where your negative moods stem from is important for self awareness, and will help you to create changes in your daily life that will result in positive feelings.
4. Bullet journal mood trackers allow you to recognize external factors contributing to your symptoms
Bullet journal mood trackers also help you correlate specific moods to external factors in your daily life. Perhaps your mood is positive when the sun is shining, or when participating in an activity you enjoy. Your negative moods, however, might correlate with gloomy weather, lack of sleep and long work days. Acknowledging these external factors will help you control your moods by choosing to participate in activities that lift your spirits.
Moreover, bullet journal mood tracking will allow you to avoid external factors that lead to negative moods. Similar to when we spoke about triggers, some external factor are unavoidable. For example, if you anticipate a long work day, bullet journal mood trackers allow you to prepare coping mechanisms.
Although mental illnesses often result from unavoidable internal chemical imbalances, external factors can contribute to or heighten your emotions. Therefore, it is important to recognize these external factors, and become aware of how they might affect your mood.
5. Bullet journal mood trackers contribute to the accuracy of your diagnosis
A bullet journal mood tracker is not only helpful for you to better understand your mental health yourself. It can also be extremely beneficial for your mental health providers in understanding your health. Taking medication for your mental illness? A mood tracker can help your psychiatrist understand whether or not the medication is effective, needs to be changed, or if the dose needs to be altered.
Moreover, your therapist can use your bullet journal mood tracker results to better understand your progress, and to learn how you are coping with negative feelings. A therapist or other mental health professional could also help you recognize which events or triggers led to the negative moods indicated by your bullet journal mood tracker.
Furthermore, for people who are yet to understand or become diagnosed with a mental illness, a bullet journal mood tracker is an excellent tool for mental health professionals to assess before making a diagnosis.
6. Bullet journal mood trackers allow you to better communicating your feelings with others
As previously mentioned, it is sometimes difficult for us to acknowledge our feelings when caught up with our daily lives. By making the conscious effort to track your feelings through a bullet journal mood tracker, you will be able to better express these emotions with your loved ones.
Moreover, perhaps a certain loved one in your life is consistently correlated with your positive moods. Your bullet journal mood tracker can allow you to acknowledge this and express your gratitude to this special person. In contrast, someone might be consistently correlated with your negative moods as shown through your bullet journal mood tracker. It might be time to communicate a healthy boundary with this person to better your wellbeing.
Tips for using your bullet journal mood tracker
1. Be honest
This might just be the most crucial tip for anyone using a bullet journal mood tracker. Humans have a tendency to dismiss their emotions, particularly those negative in nature. The purpose of a bullet journal mood tracker is to gain a better sense of self, and this begins with honesty.
Be sure to make a reasonable attempt to acknowledge exactly how you’re feeling, and honestly report these feelings in your bullet journal mood tracker.
2. Don’t forget to track positive moods
Although it may seem like the purpose of bullet journal mood trackers is to understand our negative emotions, this is a common misconception. Positive emotions are just as important to note as negative emotions are, as the purpose of a mood tracker is to fully capture your range of moods throughout a time period. Plus, it’s extremely important to acknowledge your progress on your good days!
3. Track your mood at regular intervals
A bullet journal mood tracker is a great tool to assess your fluctuations in mood overtime, and this begins with consistent and regular updates. Whether it be a nightly check-in with your bullet journal mood tracker, or a few regular check-ins throughout the day to understand your daily fluctuations, be sure to keep up with your schedule.
Though it might be tempting to skip your assessment for the day and fill in the gaps a later day, mood assessments are most accurately made when you are currently feeling these emotions. To avoid recall bias, be sure to stick to your schedule.
In this day and age, it is extremely important to keep in touch with our emotions to avoid burn-out, mental strain, and potential mental illness. If you are diagnosed with a mental illness, bullet journal mood trackers are an essential tool for your stability and recovery.