If you’re not yet sure whether you should really start keeping a daily journal for mood tracking, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our top 10 list of reasons for writing a daily mood journal and make up your mind:
No. 1: To measure is to know!
Things that are measured can be improved. – How else do you know if things have changed and if things have improved? Keeping track makes it a lot easier and obvious to see progress and changes. It is like your favourite GPS navigation system: It shows you on a map where you are and helps you reach your target as easily as possible. You can still reach the target without a map, but you might run around in circles and it will take you much longer to reach your goal. Therefore, keep in mind: A daily journal will show you where you stand, how you got there and helps you reach your goals more efficiently.
No. 2: Bring order into your world of feelings
Quoting the University of Rochester Medical Center New York: “Keeping a journal helps you establish order when your world feels like it’s in chaos.” This is something that you will already experience with your very first journal entry. It is something that happens automatically and with every little detail that you add, you are getting closer to the core of your feelings and thoughts. To make this work, you should be aware of this: Your mood journal is the place where you can express all of your feelings, where nothing is forbidden and where no one else but you rule: there’s no competition, no judgement, no Instagram! You are completely safe there. If you take this to heart, you will be able to order your thoughts and feelings and understand yourself much better.
No. 3: Identify what’s causing stress
If you face a problem, a daily mood journal is a tool to find reasons and triggers that are causing your stressful situation. Sometimes it is easy to trace a problem back to its trigger – for example, “I’m not feeling so good today because I slept very badly last night”. But the reason is sometimes not so obvious and sometimes lies beyond the first guess. You could go further and ask “Why did I sleep so bad last night? What happened before I went to sleep?” etc. A structured approach to your daily mood tracking will support you in identifying what is causing your stress. Think about a structure for your daily journal (e.g. use pen & paper, an Excel sheet or an app, decide at which time you are going to write your journal entries etc.) and stick to the plan!
No. 4: Cultivating positive thoughts
Just like identifying what’s causing your stress, keeping a daily journal will help you find out what’s causing good. With the journal at hand, you can easily go back in time and review days that were particularly good: See what you have done on those days, what happened and subsequently find out what made you happy. If you focus on the positive moments and experiences regularly, you will automatically start cultivating a positive mindset, making you happier and enabling you to overcome problems easier.
No. 5: Identify mood-swings before they happen
If you are facing mood-swings, you already know that they often occur on a regular basis. If they hit you hard, unexpected and off-guard, they can be extremely difficult to deal with. But if you are able to identify indicators that can act as a sort of early warning system, you are going to be prepared for the coming mood swing, able to take precautions and handle it better. A daily journal can support you in finding those indicators and therefore be part of that early warning system.
No. 6: Become aware of your feelings and the things that upset you
Tracking and writing down your thoughts and feelings in a daily journal will let you look at yourself from a different angle. Especially when you start reviewing and reading your old entries you will be able to see situations from a different view. This new angle will give you new insights into your own behaviour and make it easier to find out the things that upset you.
No. 7: Supports healing
A daily journal can not just foster & improve your mental health, but in fact, can also help you in healing your physical wounds faster. A study conducted by the University of Auckland found out that people who wrote emotionally about past stressful events had their wound heal faster than people who wrote about their factual day to day activities. Isn’t that awesome?!
No. 8: Identify patterns
Once you’ve kept your mood journal regularly and long enough, you will easily be able to identify positive and negative behavioural patterns and also find positive and negative influences. This will be the perfect basis to make decisions on what to avoid and what to intensify.
No. 9: Put an end to badmouthing and sugar-coating the past
Most of us tend to think about the past either very positive or very negative, but this usually does not reflect the way it really was. There are numerous studies trying to explain why this happens to us. The more time passes, the harder it gets to remember exactly how it happened. Losing valuable and accurate information about the past makes it difficult to make changes in the future. A mood journal can change that! Create journal entries shortly after they happened (or at the end of the day) and you will get an accurate picture of the past. Whenever you want to look back, just open your journal and read what the past was really like – no badmouthing, no sugar-coating, just facts!
No. 10: Self-improvement
Self-Improvement is something that happens during the creation of journal entries but is something that can also be strived for after some time. Once you have collected enough information about the past, you are able to set proper measures to improve yourself. Using a mood journal will not just enable you to set measures but can also be the tool to track your changes, see if they work and check if you’ve reached your self-improvement goals.
Start your mood diary today!
A convenient way of keeping a mood diary is Moodistory.
Check out how it works!