The Importance of Tracking Your Mood and How to Do It

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The Importance of Tracking Your Mood and How to Do It

Over 25% of American adults suffer from a mental disorder — over 9% have a depressive disorder, and about 18% have an anxiety disorder. 

Fortunately, treatments are highly effective, and thanks to modern science, even stubborn, treatment-resistant mental disorders respond to innovative emerging techniques.

At the forefront of these advanced treatments, Dr. Karen Giles and our team at Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions offer cutting-edge, evidence-based options for treatment resistant depression.

However, you play an integral role in your diagnosis and treatment, and your honest dialogue and self-assessment are key components of this. On the first day you meet with Dr. Giles, she asks about your symptoms, feelings, experiences, emotional triggers, and recurring challenges. Each time you meet with her, she asks these questions again to monitor the treatment’s effectiveness. Here’s where mood tracking comes in.

What is mood tracking?

Recording your emotions and experiences provides valuable insight into your mental health and well-being. A mood tracker is a tool that enables you to do just that by keeping a record of your moods at regular intervals. You and Dr. Giles can better understand your emotional and mental health by identifying patterns in how your moods fluctuate over time and in different situations.

By tracking your moods, you can identify triggers and learn how to regulate your emotions, and you have several options and methods to help you do this. Here are a few possibilities.

Write in a daily journal

Tracking your moods can be as simple as pulling out a pen and some paper and jotting down your feelings. You can even get fancy with a bound journal, calendar, or daily planner. Dr. Giles can tell you what to look for in your emotions, moods, and behavior and which to write down. 

Create a chart

Graphs and charts give instant visual information; if that speaks to you, a chart might be a good fit. Write down how you’re feeling each day and rate that mood from 1-10. You can use graph paper or a computer graphic to help you compare and identify patterns.

Color your moods

If you lean toward the arts more than the sciences, consider coloring your emotions on a mood mandala. A mandala is an intricate diagram of concentric circles and geometric shapes used in some cultures and religions as a spiritual development aid. It’s also a popular design in adult coloring books. 

You can use a mandala to track your moods by creating a color legend. For example, red may represent anger; yellow, joy; blue, sadness, etc. At the end of the week or month, the predominant colors tell the story of your moods.

Let an app track your moods

Whether you prefer to type up your moods on your laptop or tap them into your phone, online mood-tracking apps are customizable and come with features that help you and Dr. Giles identify patterns, triggers, relapses, and other helpful information. Find several mood-tracking app examples here.

Why you should track your moods

Mood trackers can establish a baseline of your emotional and mental state before starting treatment and monitor your progress. Dr. Giles may ask you to track your moods to:

  • Understand how your moods affect your behavior
  • Assess how diet, sleep, and daily activities affect your moods
  • Identify situations that trigger mood changes
  • Better understand your mood shifts
  • Determine if your treatment is working

The bottom line is that tracking your moods can help you become more self-aware and actively reduce your negative emotions. 

Beyond mood tracking

Mood tracking is merely a tool to support your treatment and provide insight; it’s not a treatment in and of itself. 

Dr. Giles offers advanced treatments for mood disorders, including IV ketaminetranscranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and Spravato®, depending on your diagnosis and symptoms. 

To learn more about how and why to track your moods, schedule a consultation with Dr. Giles at Breakthru Psychiatric Solutions in Sandy Springs, Georgia. You can contact us online or by phone.