Hello, are you in a good mood today? We sincerely hope you are. However, in case you feel a bit under the weather, you’ve come to the right place to change the forecast. Be it something somebody said, a clouded sky, or a book you read on your commute to work – how you feel is dictated by many factors. The good news is: you can control your weather.
Monitoring how low or how high your spirits are will help you recognize and regulate triggers, negative reactions, and any behavioral patterns that have the power to either build or spoil your current and future mood. There are a number of ways to keep records of your wellbeing, yet today we are going to focus on the simplest and, arguably, most effective method – tracking.
Rooting For Emotions
As opposed to an atmosphere or a vibe of a place, situation, or a piece of art, when it comes to people, we tend to associate moods with humors, tempers, or dispositions, at the basis of which lie emotions. Even though moods contrast emotions – for example, moods last longer but emotions are far more specific and intense – both stem from one another.
Moods comprise of temporary emotional states that can be disassembled into single feelings. These, in turn, are valuable data – identifying them properly gives us necessary insight into the quality of the soil of our psyche. Emotions are seeds that sprout moods. Moods, then, self-seed into emotions. Such is the natural cycle of our inner garden. Tending to it with care and devotion will ensure the bloom season lasts all year round.
To track your mood effectively, you need to first understand what you feel and where it’s all coming from. Dig deeper to the root of your mental state, water it, nurture it, and track your growth. Self-awareness will make you the arch-gardener of your mood, with bouquets of beautiful emotions to give to others.
On the Right Track
Tracking is a brilliant method for monitoring your evolution. Whether it’s reading goals, jogging progress, or limiting the use of negative language, being able to see the nuances of the process makes you more aware of how much work you still need to put in to obtain your preferred results.
When it comes to mood, tracking it in regular intervals will highlight any possible swings and fluctuations that could potentially impact your mental health. You’ll be able to identify triggers and patterns, learn how daily practices such as sleep, healthy diet, or social interaction affect how you feel, and it’ll be easier to come up with coping techniques in case you need course correction.
You’ll be pleased to hear that mood tracking techniques are straightforward and can be pretty fun. Be it a bulleted list, reflective journal, graph, chart, mood mandala, or any sort of visual representation of your emotions (where you can let your drawing skills shine) – all of these ideas are worth testing out to settle on a method that feels most effective to you.
For your convenience, our very own Five Minute Journal app provides an in-built mood tracker tied both to the morning and the evening portion of your gratitude practice. This simple feature allows you to pick a mood in the form of a sun-like face expression on a slider:
bad – not great – okay – good – great!
Whether you use the app tracker or decide to draw a small face in the physical Five Minute Journal (or any notebook of your choosing), make it a regular practice. Even if you feel joyful all the time, commit to checking in with your emotions systematically to catch the slightest hints of pain before they grow into a heavy, dark cloud.
MMNNF – Natural Mood Boosters
Should your tracker reveal that your mood needs repairing, act right away. We all have different hobbies, passions, and activities that make our hearts grin, thus the first step is: do more of what makes you happy. However, since we realize it’s sometimes easier said than done, here are a few quick and effective fixes:
It increases and lowers our heart and respiration rates manipulating the levels of adrenaline and cortisol in our bloodstream. Music can be successfully used to relax patients before surgery, control their pain, and significantly impact the most difficult mental states, such as depression and anxiety. Let your favorite symphonies heal your mood.
Physical health benefits of movement are obvious. Yet, did you know that exercising also wards off mental illnesses before they begin? Stress and anxiety, ADHD, panic disorder, or PTSD will be eased when you simply move your bum off the couch. You’ll be distracted from negative thoughts, the level of your stress hormones will decrease, and you’ll feel renewed. For a simple natural mood booster we recommend taking a gratitude walk.
Mind and body are one. For this reason, a holistic approach is the most effective path to follow. If you want to feed your soul, you need to properly feed your body first. Following a healthy diet can prolong your life and make you stronger physically and mentally. The smallest dietary changes can make big differences. A sound mood lives in a sound body.
It has the power to heal us because we are born from it and we will one day turn back into it. Nature is our home, our essence, and medicine with no side effects. If outdoor therapy has the power to alleviate PTSD symptoms in war veterans, imagine what it can do to your bad mood. A healthy dose of greenery will go a long way. Have you ever tried meditating in nature? Well, what are you waiting for?
The so-called hair salon therapy. People are social creatures. The biggest introverts among us sometimes get lonely, too. We need others to laugh with them, cry on their shoulders, vent, hug and be hugged, and know that if we decide to go on holiday, we would be missed by someone. Human connection equals emotional support and is therefore one of the best mood enhancers.
Keep in mind there are also activities you want to avoid in order to keep your mood on the positive end of the spectrum. For example, comparison is the thief of joy. If social media ruins how you feel, limit your screen time, curate your feed, or ditch it altogether. No regrets – mental health matters more than likes. TV news and doomscrolling are a big NO-NO, too. This kind of media consumption will only result in a deteriorating nervous system. Your mood is in equal measure what you do and what you avoid doing.
In the Mood for Tracking
The little things that contribute to constructing our mood very often go unnoticed. That is why tracking is so essential, it will equip you with necessary knowledge of what brings you down and what builds you up. Provided that you are 100% honest in your practice, your mood can be a choice. When you’re aware of your emotions,, and tendencies, as well as what to do or avoid doing to remain positive, hardly anything or anyone will have enough power to dim your light.