By Carissa Weber, MA, LPC, CSAC
Many of us enjoy seeing progress. Whether it is progress in projects, progress in physical stamina, or even progress in our jobs, progress is clear information that we are obviously doing something right. What about your mental health? Are you able to easily track the progress you make towards mental wealth? Many people struggle to see changes in their mental health. Changes happen over time, not instantly.
Tracking your Mental Health
I’ve talked a lot in previous posts on how journaling about your mental health can help you notice:
- Patterns in your health
- Identify triggers to your anxiety and depression
- Keep track of progress (or setbacks) in your mental health
- Improved motivation to complete tasks
But how is journaling and tracking mental health different? That is a great question! Essentially, tracking is a very objective way of journaling. With tracking apps, like moodfit.com, or physical trackers, like this amazing one at withloveandfluffs.com, they work on:
- Making your mood easily visible and recognizable
- Taking minimal time to create a healthy pattern
- Rewarding your brain by identifying progress in your mental health sooner
- Helping you remember events to share with your therapist
Talk about getting the benefits of journaling in less than three minutes a day!
Why Tracking your Mood is Important
Tracking your mood is not just important for helping you remember what to tell your therapist, but is crucial for rewiring your brain.
How does it help rewire your brain? What a fantastic question! Tracking your mood during the day have been clinically proven to:
- Bring awareness to events during your day
- Lower your blood pressure and heart rate
- Help you identify and explore complex situations
- Assist in maintaining a healthy routine
- Promote your immune system to fight off more illnesses
- Keep your hippocampus and hypothalamus sharp so they can store memories
- Promote the use of healthy coping skills
The benefits continue! When we track our moods, we get to use our emotions as information. This means we get to use our problem-solving prefrontal cortex and turn our situations to facts! We all know that when our prefrontal cortex is in charge, that darn amygdala is quiet and our anxiety and depression quiets right down!
Mood Trackers to Use
The big question: What mood tracker do I use to actually help my mental health? There are so many options out there, that it can be overwhelming to pick. Below, I’ve put a few that I have used and trust.
Moodfit is a great app that you can download on your phone (either android or apple) that does more than help track your mood. Based on your mood, this app can give you coping skill suggestions to customize your own mental health journey. This app also helps you:
- Set daily/weekly mental health goals
- Provide reminders to use certain coping skills
- Track patterns and gain insights into certain patterns
- Gain access to content that can inspire and motivate you
There is a free version and a paid version of this app. There is also a cool feature to help employers get this app for all of their employees (so show your boss!)
The Bearable App is a new and exciting app that not only helps you track your mood, it also helps keep track of physical symptoms (like sleep and headaches) to help you gather more insights into mental health symptoms you didn’t know could be mental health symptoms.
One thing I love about this particular app is that your therapist’s office can download this app, allowing them to see your data. This can help your therapist better tailor your treatment to get you better results in therapy.
This is a paid app (less than $100 a year). It is worth it.
I love paper trackers because I’m the type of person that likes to have things in hand. Plus, you can easily customize them with the colors/phrases/numbers you want to use.
I want to thank you for taking time to learn more about mood tracking. Is there a way you track your mood? Tell me in the comments below!
- Blanchfield, Theodora, (2022). How Using a Mood Tracker App Could Help Your Mental Health. Retrieved from How Using a Mood Tracker App Could Help Your Mental Health (verywellmind.com)
- Howe, Krystain (2022). Paper Mood Tracker. Retrieved from www.withloveandfluffs.com
- Carissa Weber at www.thatdarnamygdala.com