In Tune with Your Moods
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The morning starts off great! The sun is shining, you’re whistling a happy tune on your way out the door, all’s right with the world. But by mid-afternoon, you’re feeling crabby or downright gloomy. What changed?
Mood swings can happen often to anyone throughout any given day. Events and circumstances, encounters with other people, stress levels, medications, even the foods we eat all play a role in how we feel. And how we feel affects our work, family and social lives.
Perhaps you’ve suspected a pattern to your moods, but haven’t been able to isolate a cause. Or maybe you’ve wondered whether a diet or exercise program might actually help or change your moods.
To find out, try tracking your moods. Keeping track creates awareness of your feelings and gives you valuable insights into all the things that affect them. Here are four key benefits of staying in tune with your moods.
•Get accurate and timely insights about your wellbeing. Recall is never a reliable window to your feelings and their causes. The best record of an experience is when it’s recorded at the time and in the place it occurs. Tracking provides a clear, objective record of your moods.
•Find the patterns, see the signs. Pay attention to both negative and positive mood influences. Think about what distinguishes those periods of happiness from those periods of anger, sadness, anxiety, etc., to gain a better understanding of what causes emotional changes. For instance, some people may find that missing an exercise class too many days in a row makes them grouchier. Tracking lets you recognize patterns and warning signs.
•Gain control and play a role. Being in tune with your moods empowers you to act and engages you to maintain your own wellbeing. Once you recognize potential triggers, you can successfully address or avoid the negative ones and actively pursue the positive influences.
•Help your healthcare provider help you. It’s perfectly normal to have a bad day or feel a little blue. But when that feeling becomes persistent, it’s time to take more serious note. Mood tracking lets you discover potential health issues like depression early on so you can seek out professional care in a timely manner. When you visit your healthcare provider, you’ll already have detailed notes to share about your symptoms.
On the Right Track
There are many ways to track your moods. A quick web search reveals a multitude of online diaries or forms you can download for free to help chart your feelings and record the things that affect them. There are also a number of smartphone apps available that conveniently and easily allow you to record and monitor your moods throughout the day. Or, just a trusty notebook and pen can do the trick!
Whichever tool you use, keeping track of your moods is one sure way to keep you on the path to feeling great.