Keeping a mood journal is a frequent topic in the support group I facilitate. Entries can be as short or long as necessary to accurately depict your mood and any situations that contributed to that mood, positive or negative. The basic goal is to include enough information to understand what happened when looking back weeks, months, or even years later.
If you’re someone who benefits from expression through writing, this is your opportunity to expand upon the basic information already recorded. I find writing it down helps to sort through the mess and make sense of it all. This is also an awesome tool to provide your therapist. It gives them a clear picture of what you’ve been experiencing, not just the present.
While journaling can be a very beneficial tool, it’s also quite difficult to do consistently. When we feel good, there seems no need to journal and when we’re not well, we can’t muster the energy or focus our thoughts. It really is a catch 22.
Get started by recording symptoms only and try and build from there. For example:
8/23/14: Tired, sad, anxious 8/23/14: Racing thoughts, high energy, no focus
Once you’re got that down, add what situations occurred, if any, that led to the symptoms. From there, the sky’s the limit.
There are numerous mood tracking apps available, if pen and paper isn’t your thing. Here are a few suggestions to search for: