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How Emotion Tracking Can Help Improve Your Mood

There’s a good chance you’ve heard the popular refrain “know thyself” before. As it turns out, this age-old advice isn’t such a useless cliché after all. When it comes to lifting yourself up and improving your mood, tracking your emotions is a great way to get results.

What is Emotion Tracking?

When people talk about emotion tracking, they’re referring to the process by which individuals take note of their feelings during the course of every day. These feelings can include both emotions and moods. It’s important to acknowledge that emotions are not the same thing as moods. Whereas moods linger for hours or even days, emotions are quick and appear instantaneously. Effective emotion tracking takes both moods and emotions into account.

How To Track Your Emotions

There are a number of methods for tracking your moods and emotions. What they all share is an emphasis on self-analysis and providing a name for what you’re feeling.

Mood charts are one of the simplest ways to track moods and emotions. These charts offer you a list of adjectives to choose from to describe how you're feeling. The main benefit of this approach is that the charts provide you with a vocabulary. Sometimes we struggle to find the words to describe our complex emotional make-up. These charts force us to pick a word that, even if imperfect, will still serve a valuable purpose.

Mood charting applications work similarly to mood charts, but they’re better for people who prefer to work with a digital platform. Since most of us keep our cell phones on us at all times, this method can also prove more convenient.

Mood journals give you a more open-ended option. They’re great for people who prefer to use their own vocabulary to describe their emotions. If you’re interested in using a mood journal, you should probably familiarize yourself with common emotional vocabulary to make the task simpler. When it comes to mood tracking, words are the tools of the trade.

Why Emotion Tracking Works

Our moods and emotions are part of a cycle that determines our overall well-being. When we feel sad, for example, we make decisions and carry out actions that go on to determine our future moods. This cycle of emotion-action-mood-emotion is impossible to break, but it’s not always impossible to influence.

Tracking your emotions allows you to better understand your moods and emotional patterns. Seeing how often you experience a certain emotion gives you a chance to take stock of your emotional tendencies. This knowledge alone won’t solve all your problems, but it’s an excellent place to start.

When you’re tracking your emotions, you can identify the feelings that dominate your emotion-action-mood cycle. You’ll be able to recognize the types of emotions that lead to harmful or destructive behavior. This recognition will then allow you to alter your cycle and improve your well-being.

The modern world is a hectic and complicated place. It's completely natural to suffer from a daily ride on the emotional roller coaster. There are all sorts of ways to improve your mental health, and emotion tracking is one of them. Try giving this method a shot. You might just find that it gives your mood and general well-being a major boost.
Posted by Emily Dawson on Oct 5, 2020 7:43 PM Europe/London

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