Flag this photoKeeping either a journal or diary is one way you can track your thoughts, feelings and activities. Making a journal that is rooted in your moods can be useful when you are trying to determine if you have more depressive feelings during certain periods of time or if you become more elated after participating in an activity. Knowing how to best utilize a mood journal can help you, and any professionals you are seeing for any mood disorder, understand your moods, the cycles of your moods and mood triggers.Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedBlank journal or notebookPens, pencils, colored pencilsHighlightersSuggest Edits1
Make a commitment to write in your mood journal multiple times, every day. You must track your moods and when they change from one to another. You should use a journal which is comfortable for you to write in and small enough that it can be taken with you wherever you go. Commit to taking your journal to work, school, on vacation, out to dinner, family visits and any time you leave the house for more than just an hour.2
Write the full date at the top of the first page, including the year. Note the time of your entry. Write direct statements regarding how you feel. State whether you feel happy, sad, upbeat, depressed, apprehensive, scared, nervous, anxious or anything in between. Understand that you can gauge your own mood and may need to use more than one or two words to accurately explain how you feel. For example, if you are writing in your journal the morning before starting a new job, you may explain that you are excited, happy, scared and nervous all at the same time.3
Be specific about events leading up to all mood changes. For example, if you wrote in your journal at 10 a.m. that you were happy and then at 2 p.m. your mood had slipped to sad, explain what events happened between those hours which may have prompted the mood change.4
Read your own journal at least once per week to look for patterns. Note whether certain situations, locations or people appear every time you have a mood shift. Highlight issues or events that you want to discuss in greater detail. If you see a professional for a mood disorder, show the therapist your mood journal and highlighted sections. Use the journal to understand what triggers cause you to personally have a change in mood, emotion or mental stability.Tips & Warnings
Keep your mood journal close by, so you can write down your moods easily.
Unless no one else will have access to your mood journal, avoid writing confidential or damaging information in your journal.
Suggest itemReferencesEveryday Health: Keeping a Bipolar Mood DiaryWest Virginia University: Writing a Mood DiaryYoga Journal: In the MoodPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty ImagesRead Next: Print this articleFollow eHowFollow
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