Very recently, I kept a mood journal for two weeks. I sometimes find it hard to keep track of whether I’ve been having a good week or a bad one. It’s hard to remember how you felt three days ago when you feel terrible today! I thought that if I could look back and see how I felt, I’d be better able to gauge my overall disposition.
I have a small notebook in which I keep my schedule and to-dos. I laid out one page for the mood jounral, writing down each day for a week. Every day, I would draw at least one face to describe my mood. If needed, I would also add a bracketed note. After the first week, I went on to do a second.
Here were my results:
Thurs 😦 🙂 😦
Fri 😐 (productive)
Sat 🙂 (artsy)
Sun 🙂 😦
Mon 😐 (rest day)
Tues 😐 (distracted)
Thurs 😐 (distracted)
I was a bit surprised by what I saw. I expected more days to be clearly good days or clearly bad days. Instead, I have a whole bunch of…blankness.
They aren’t truly neutral days. They are empty days. There is nothing to make it good or bad.
In a way, they are bad days. I don’t want to have empty days. When somebody asks “What did you do today?”, I’d love to be able to give a response that isn’t “Nothing.”.
It is hard to change though. It’s hard to get started. A body at rest stays and rest and all that jazz. I just have to remind myself to take a little steps towards improvement. That first Saturday in my journal – the one that says ‘Sat 🙂 (artsy)’ – all I did that day was paint. I didn’t create anything grand. I didn’t even finish a painting. But I painted, and it made me happy. I believe I can find ways to do little things like that, and I believe incorporating those little things into my life will improve things.
So I recommend mood journaling to you all. It’s pretty low risk (though it could be upsetting, so, please do judge the risk for yourself). You already have materials to do it. If you miss a day, it’s not a big deal. But it can help remind you of how you’ve been feeling, and it can give you a glimpse of the bigger picture.