Mood Journaling

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 😦 πŸ™‚ 😦
Fri 😐 (productive)
Sat πŸ™‚ (artsy)
Sun πŸ™‚ 😦
Mon 😐 (rest day)
Tues 😐 (distracted)
Wed 😦
Thurs πŸ˜₯
Fri πŸ™‚
Sat 😐
Sun 😐
Mon :/
Tues :/
Wed 😐
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 πŸ™‚ (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.

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3 Comments

  1. lifeofmiblog

     /  February 20, 2015

    I think the benefit is dependent, to a great extent, on the individual. For instance, some may find that like your chart there are very feel happy times, and when there are they are short lived, this could make them feel worse. On the other hand it is still good for them to know this so they can report it to their therapist. I went back and had a look at my results from my mood chart – it is part of my Jawbone activity band app – and found that after weeks of recording most of mine, like yours, are blanks – almost a replica of your day one. I think I only found one day where I just felt good. So here I am sitting in my favorite Vietnamese coffee shop feeling down from the results, drowning my sorrows with legal addictive stimulants and eating very fattening, but very nice, French pastries. Aahhh
    By the way, do you know why French pastries (and a lot of their food) taste so good? Three ingredients: 1) butter 2) more butter 3) whatever butter you have already put in…double it! But being Canadian you should already know this! Hope this is a smiley day πŸ˜ƒ

    Reply
    • That’s true. If I’d looked back and seen a bunch of really miserable days, I’d have had a very different reaction. Perhaps I’ll add a note concerning that.
      I’ve noticed that from watching French cooking shows – butter in everything!
      The most famous French Canadian food isn’t loaded with butter, but is fatty nonetheless. Poutine! Fries covered in melty cheese curds and gravy! So good.

      Reply
  2. Amazing article! I am always on the lookout for new helpful insights regarding depression.

    Reply

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