Did you know that a mood journal can improve your mental health?
There are days when you’re so happy that you feel like you can take over the world, while there are some days when you feel like the world around you is caving in.
It’s natural to shift moods now and then. Give yourself permission to feel every emotion. It’s okay to not be okay. You know that, right?
It’s important to know that every mood you feel influences the way you act.((PositivePsychology.com: 7 Best Mood Tracker Ideas For Your Bullet Journal Mood Charts (+PDFs)))
You may not be able to dictate how you feel at every given moment. However, you can take an extra step to know what each emotion means to you and how you can assess yourself while in that state of mood.
Why It’s Important to Track Your Mood
Have you ever noticed how you make bad decisions when you’re angry? Or how you can’t think straight when you feel downright sad?
It’s not surprising that the way we think, or the decisions we make sometimes heavily rely on our mood.((Babylon: Mood Tracking. Can It Keep Your Health On Track?)) This is why we need to keep track of it.
One of the best ways to do this is to write down your mood in a journal. Writing things down will help you understand and manage yourself better. You’ll be able to recognize what triggers your moods and find out how you can take actions that best serve your highest self.
A mood journal is a great way to identify personal factors that affect your mood daily.
Writing in my mood journal is a core part of my morning ritual. It gives me time to reflect on how certain people, places, or decisions that I make throughout my day impact my mood.
Not only does writing in my journal build self-awareness, but it also helps me figure out how I can avoid triggers from happening altogether.
5 Reasons Why a Mood Journal Is Good for Your Mental Health
Tracking your mood is a helpful way to improve your mental health. If you don’t control your emotions, your emotions will end up controlling you and that is a recipe for disaster.
Here are the top 5 reasons why I believe you should start mood journaling.
1. It Helps You Determine a Course of Action
When you’re aware of how you’re feeling, you can better understand what you need.
Think about the last time you found yourself spiraling emotionally. Did you feel like you could make a decision at that moment? Probably not.
When you are overwhelmed, you feel paralyzed to take action.
A mood journal will help you take notice of your day-to-day emotions so you can figure out the best ways that you can respond to them.((Calm: 5 Benefits of Tracking Your Mood))
2. It Helps You Express Your Emotions
If you are someone who is prone to overthinking and worrying about everything, it’s imperative that you express your emotions through writing.
A mood journal is a safe container where you are given the space to feel without judgment. It’s a process that is both therapeutic and empowering. You don’t have to worry about how someone may receive your words because you’re having a dialogue with yourself.
Trust me when I say that you don’t have to carry around the weight of your feelings for one day longer. You deserve a break, so give yourself the gift of self-expression through journaling.
3. It Will Support Your Healing Process
Anytime that I’ve gone through a serious trauma in my life, journaling has been a core piece of my healing process. Anytime that I’ve tried to push down or ignore difficult emotions related to my past, I only felt worse.
Mood journaling allows you to sort through the difficult events that have occurred in your life so that you can start making sense of them.
More importantly, this therapeutic process allows you to come to a deeper understanding of yourself, which is a core piece of the healing process.
A study conducted by the University of Auckland found out that people who wrote emotionally about past stressful events had their wounds heal faster than people who wrote about their factual day to day activities((Medical Press: Study Finds Expressive Writing Can Help Heal Wounds Faster))
Healing is your birthright. If you have been struggling to make sense of the trauma you’ve endured, I encourage you to start writing your way towards better mental and emotional health.
4. It Helps Reveal What Your Triggers Are
We all have emotional triggers. It’s a part of being human. Someone will say something that triggers an emotional reaction that throws you off your game.
Emotional triggers are people, words, opinions, situations, or environmental situations that provoke an intense and excessive emotional reaction within us.((LonerWolf: How To Identify Your Emotional Triggers (Before It’s Too Late)))
When you don’t do the work to figure out the root of these triggers, your emotions will get the best of you.
Use a mood journal to write down moments when you feel triggered. Take note of how you felt and what your reaction was. As you write, you will start to bring awareness to your triggers and start noticing patterns between how you feel and behave.
5. It Helps You Find the Silver Lining
When negative emotions get the better of you, you can’t help but flounder in negativity. In this state, it can become near impossible to be positive. This is where the mood journal comes to play.
The more that you write, the more that you feel in control of your emotional state and the less stressed you feel. Negativity feeds off of stress.
Journaling presents an opportunity for emotional catharsis, which thereby helps your brain regulate emotions((Intermountain Healthcare: 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Journaling)) In turn, when you encounter adversities in life, you will be more inclined to find the silver lining.
When you start to witness the changes that occur as a result of the inner work you’re doing, you will feel more empowered knowing the impact you have had on your own mood. These are the silver lining moments that you want to pull upon when you’re having down days.
How to Write a Mood Journal
You can purchase free mood journal templates online. However, I think personalizing your prompts according to your preferences will help you connect to your inner self more.
I started mine by making up a table with three columns. The first column is dedicated to the emotion I feel. The second column is for the probable reasons that I think affect my mood.
The last column is for the actions I make because of how I felt.((Healthline: Mood Journal 101: How To Get Started On Controlling Your Emotions))
When you become aware of a shift in your mood, write down what the change is in your journal. At the same time, observe how you feel in your body when you’re writing.
Also, make note of what you were doing when this mood shift occurred and who you were with. Equally as important is to reflect upon what was going on with your internal world. Name the emotion or thought that was going through your head.
Tracking your mood through a journal will help you organize your thoughts better and give you more understanding as to why and how you feel certain emotions. I hope a mood journal will help you as much as it does for me.
More on the Benefits of Journaling
6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better
Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide)
5 Powerful Ways Journal Writing Changes Your Life