You can use mood tracking to improve your mental health. The process is simple, you record your mood at set times throughout the day and then look at the results to find “triggers”. Triggers are things that could be causing you to have anxiety, clinical depression or other mood-related disorders. The more you use a mood tracker, the more you begin to notice how specific situations trigger specific moods. It boosts your self-awareness, supporting you to adapt your day-to-day decisions. You can use CareClinic as a mood tracker app which will automatically use your data to help you discover correlations. Aside from this, it can just be used as a simple diary to track and manage your health. It is available for iOS and Android.
Aside from just figuring out what the triggers for your mood are, you can also use the diary functionality to write about how you feel to lessen “cognitive burden” or the stress of having to keep things in your mind, which should help you feel better as well. Recording your mood may also let you know if you need to take any PRN medication associated with such a symptom in which case you can use CareClinic as a medication tracker as well.
Many users also use a mood tracker as a self-help technique as part of an overall self-care plan. Self-care is an act of taking cautionary steps outside the doctors’ clinic to help yourself. Below we show you a quick example of how to get started tracking your mood, writing in your journal, and looking at the results in the Reports section.
The CareClinic app is perceptive and often commended by anger management professionals along with psychologists. It can use information from additional apps and devices such as Apple Watch. This allows for a thorough image of your mental health. You will notice the difference in your mental health with journaling.
Why You Should Use a Mood Tracker
There are many reasons as to why a mood tracker would be a beneficial addition to your life. The CareClinic app can provide you with many benefits to help with your mental wellness. Below are a list of reasons as to why you should track your mood using a mood tracker app:
- Using a mood tracker will allow you to connect your feelings to events that happened throughout your day. For example, you may be dealing with an abrupt rush of depressive feelings which leads you to be in a sad mood. After examining, it turns out that a slight problem at work affected you deeply; this may be more so than you could consciously be aware of.
- Logging your mood enables you to be able to see any repetitive patterns in your daily life. When your mood changes, other aspects of your life may be changing as well. You may have strong moods that correspond with working night shifts or irregular shift times. If you notice your mood on Sunday evenings changing, it can potentially be due to anxiety related to going to work the next morning.
- When you keep track of your moods, you can learn a great deal about the timing of your emotional moods. You may find yourself responding negatively to situations when it is nearing the anniversary of a family member’s death, even if you do not consciously recognize this happening.
- Obtain insight on the specific things you will need to take care of your own mental wellness. When you choose to acknowledge the things that you are feeling, you can then understand the things that you will need to take care of your own mental health at this current moment in time. You can view it as a way for you to take an active approach on your mood; not allowing your negative feelings to instinctively control you.
- Communicating openly with other people in your life. When you are familiar with your emotions, you are able to identify how other people are affecting your mood. If you observe that you are experiencing a rush of happiness when you are spending time with a specific friend, you might want to express your appreciation to them or create more occasions for you to spend more time together. If you are experiencing feelings of angry towards someone because they are continuously taking advantage of your kindness, you can consider different ways to make a healthier situation for yourself and inform them of your thoughts as to what you can and can’t provide in the relationship.
Mood Tracking to Aid in a Medical Diagnosis
Mood trackers are useful in understanding your personal mental health condition; it can also be significantly beneficial for your mental health care providers. A psychiatrist or therapist can use the symptoms that you are tracking to provide you with a more accurate diagnosis. This will also allow them to provide you with a treatment plan that is tailored to your mental health situation; giving you the best treatment possible.
A mood tracker can also enable you and your psychiatrist to keep track of how a specific medication is interacting with your body and whether you may need to alter the dosage amount, the combination of your medication, or possibly the type of medication you are currently taking.
The “Measurments” section allows you to indicate your experience of some aspects of mood such as energy, pain and attention.
Let’s suppose we came to the journal a few times throughout the day and decided to enter our mood. We could then step back and take a look at Reports (after three entries) and it would produce the following chart (the following image is generated through the CareClinic web app, although mobile versions generate similar results):
Mood Journaling Process
If we want to get a better overall glimpse as to how we are doing outside of the chart, we can hop on in the calendar as well, which will show the same thing, along with the remainder of the Daily Values. This can be useful to print or share with your caregiver if needed as it renders more information and provides the day of the week as a reference.
Using Diary Entries for Mood Tracking
In the case of your own personal wellbeing, your mood plays an integral part in controlling your energy levels, where your attention is focused, and what actions are being taken. That is why understanding your mood through mood tracking is essential for your overall mental health and wellbeing.
Using the Diary Entry feature will allow you to write openly about your mood. You will be able to write anything related to your mood like how you are feeling, why you are feeling this way and potential steps you are taking to improve your mood. An example of this can be seen through Sarah, a 28 year old with no prior mental illness diagnoses. Sarah has recently been experiencing troubles with her mental health and is unsure why; she starts writing diary entries of her mood to gain some insight. An example of what she may write is:
‘Woke up feeling okay; Then I got ready for work and started my day. I was reading and responding to my emails when I came across an email from my boss asking me to start a new project. This made me instantly feel overwhelmed because I was already working on three tasks that were very time consuming. I focused on getting my work done for the rest of the day. I even had to skip lunch to ensure everything was completed. When I got home, my family wanted me to make dinner; I was feeling so stressed I had to get someone else to make it.’
In this example, it is clear that Sarah’s stress from work carried on into her home life; this is a correlation that might not have been as easily identified if she did not articulate her thoughts and feelings throughout the day.
You may be the type of person that does not know how to verbalize your mood on your own; you can use the prompts feature as a starting point. This feature will provide you with questions regarding your current situation to get you to think of things that you can write for your entry. For example, if you are experiencing anxiety the prompting questions will be as follows:
- How do you really feel? (Physically and emotionally)
- What is causing this anxiety in you? Explain in point form.
- Ground yourself by looking away from this anxiety, write about 3 things that make you feel in control
- Stop and take 3 deep breaths slowly with your eyes closed. Now write about 1 thing that makes you happy (Like your puppy, sunny days, hiking, a day at the beach).
If you are experiencing intrusive thoughts, an example of the questions you can use as prompts are as follows:
- I am not feeling great or even upset because?
- My immediate reaction to this situation is?
- To remedy this thought, I need to remind myself that? (Three things that you know for certain are true that you may be overlooking).
- I know that the outcome may not be what I would like but I can look past this for now by thinking about this positive aspect?
These prompts are a good tool to use if you would like to express your feelings through written words but do not know where to start. In addition to this, the Diary Entry feature allows you to add pictures to go along with your diary entries. These pictures can be used to explain how you are feeling without using words. For example, a picture of you smiling can go along with a diary entry about your happy mood. You can also use this tool to remember what put you in that current mood. Continuing with the happy mood example, you could be experiencing that feeling because you are watching your favourite TV show, so you can take a picture of this and add it to your diary entry.
Symptom Tracker For Mood
Using the Symptom Tracker is a way for you to track your mood by using logs. You can log the actual mood you are feeling like “Depressed Mood”, “Anxious Mood”, or “Mood Swings”. Alternative to that, you can log the side-effects of your mood like “Fatigue”, “Insomnia”, or “Brain Fog”. Keeping track of the symptoms associated with your mood is a great way to better understand what is going on in your head. With the symptom tracker, you will be able to see trends in your mood that you may not notice otherwise.
In the symptom tracker Sarah may log that she is experiencing stress in the morning. She felt significant stress so she rated it as a 7 out of 10. She will have this log time stamped and in the notes section write the following:
‘The stress I felt came when I saw the email from my boss. He gave me a project I didn’t have time to work on.’
Along with stress, Sarah may log anxiety as she felt this from the same incident. By tracking her symptoms, Sarah was better able to understand the things impacting her overall mood.
Reports From Mood Tracker
Unless you are able to organize, analyze and process the data you are working with, reaching a precise conclusion can be challenging. That is why the CareClinic app will compile all the data that you have input; through diary entries and symptom tracking this provides you with a thorough report of your progression. CareClinic has a great feature for reporting; it can provide a lot of insight into your lifestyle and overall health. These reports will display the association among all logged entries. Using the reporting tool will allow you to see all of your inputs at a high level and allow you to view charts and graphs in an easy to read format. You can also view any correlations that the reports may find within your entries.
Mood tracker charts can be used in aiding your doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist to provide you with a more accurate diagnosis. Mood and anxiety disorders are partially determined by the length of time that you have been experiencing the symptoms. In general, people tend to forget their specific mood variations throughout the day. If you make a point to record how you are feeling during the day by using a mood tracker, it can benefit the identification process and guide a suitable course of therapy or treatment.
In correspondence to a treatment plan, your therapist can utilize the data that you collected from your mood tracker to assist you in learning how to manage the feelings you are experiencing. After you recognize the things that are causing you to experience your negative emotions, your therapist will gain a better perspective on ways that can help you acknowledge your negative feelings and combat the situations.
Additional features are always being added to make it easier to track your mood. It is wise to use a full solution to track your health like CareClinic then an app just for mood tracking as it will not provide the same amount of information to make sense of the data you are recording.