How Mood Charting Can Improve Your Mental Health

The Benefits of Mood Charting

Everyone has fleeting feelings and longer-lasting moods. Some of us are able to stay pretty steady throughout our lives, while others go from upbeat to discouraged to apprehensive in the blink of an eye. Across the board, one thing is true: humans experience countless mood swings, especially in early recovery.

It is very difficult to remember when your mental state shifted, the cause of the change and what your mood was prior to that event. This information can be very helpful in determining your triggers, managing your mental health and protecting your sobriety. With this in mind, how can you begin to keep track of (and identify) your emotions?

Charting your mood is an effective way to correspond your feelings to an event or activity. You may decide to go on this journey through your feelings just to get a big picture idea of your everyday emotions. You may also decide to utilize a mood chart to find consistencies in your emotions and figure out if steps you are taking to counter these feelings are working for you or not.

Often, a mood chart is created to evaluate new mental health exercises that have been implemented and whether or not a person’s overall well-being has improved as a result. Should you decide to involve a doctor or therapist in your journey, going over your mood chart with them and getting their feedback on a routine basis could offer you a constructive, non-biased opinion you need as well. Here is our official guide to mood charting.


The Best Tracking Method for You

The first step is to decide how you want to track your mood on a daily basis. Each mood chart is unique, as the reason for creating one typically is as well. Mood charting may be followed on an Excel spreadsheet, in an old-fashioned lock and key diary, on a password-protected online journal or just a plain spiral notebook. A new favorite is creating a digital calendar template you can track on your computer, iPad or smartphone, where you can add words or symbols to indicate feelings that can be added to each date at specific times. You can also use the recorder feature on your smartphone or download a mood charting app to a smart device for tracking. Whatever method you choose, it is important that you find one convenient for you to keep up with.


Identifying Your Emotions Through Mood Charting

The second step is identifying your emotions. This is not always the easiest of tasks to tackle, and while there are plenty of recommendations on the world wide web for help here, the most common recommendation is for you to use psychologist Robert Plutchik’s “Wheel of Emotions”. Plutchik’s tool gives you identifiers for what you are feeling and is more likely to pinpoint exactly where your head is at.

For this to work, you have to be dedicated to logging at least once per day. When doing so, you need to take the necessary time required – note your feelings, experiences, potential triggers that may have caused those feelings and the way you behaved or someone else acted. Also, take the time to review what you’ve written and consider whether or not what you experienced that day is something that can be resolved.

At month’s end, evaluate your journal by picking apart each entry. Make a note of all triggers and prioritize reactions that you would like to change. During this process, you’ll find what positively affects you and what results in a negative response from you. Identifying the triggers that affect you poorly is the first step in avoiding them going forward. Using the information you’ve gathered and organized, plan what you’d like to do for the next month.


Monitoring Your Mood

Now that you’ve charted your mood for a month, you’re going to add emotional regulation to your daily regimen. When you have a better comprehension of the meaning behind your moods, it helps you to control them single-handedly. The way you handle your feelings will help you feel better faster in early addiction recovery. Being privy to your emotions will allow you to better manage your lifestyle choices, avoid triggers that cause bad moods, reduce relapse risk and make knowledgeable decisions about your mental health.

What you’re specifically looking for when charting your mood are alterations in your emotions, specifically extremely low dips and excessively high swings. Mood charting is of no charge to you and it takes a minimal amount of time to do. As you make this task part of your everyday routine, you will learn more about yourself, invest in your sobriety and make strides towards a healthier you.


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