A moodtracker is a "stemmingsregistratie" (mood registration) in Dutch, but I find mood tracker more pleasant to read and write. In this article I look at how to start a moodtracker, what it's for and how to express a mood or feeling. I've made a list of descriptions of emotions for you, which you can download for free in the article below.
Why a moodtracker
A mood tracker is a way to follow your moods or feelings. It may be a page in your planner or bullet journal that allows you to keep track of whether you feel happy, sad, tired, angry, or maybe even bored. Tracking your mood is one of the best ways to take a look at your overall state of mental health and then work to improve it if necessary. A bullet journal mood tracker gives you a place to do that easily and creatively.
The reason why you would want to keep this is for everyone very personal and different. If you want to be clear about the connection between your mood and the amount of hours you slept, you can keep track of it in your mood tracker and habit tracker.
If you notice that your tracker is filled with a lot of sad days, this can mean that there are problems you should solve. Also anger or feelings of anxiety could reflect the same. Learning to recognize your general mood and then working on improving that mood where you want to be, could be a way to feel happier.
So with a mood tracker you can map out where there are areas for improvement. Why were you sad that day? What happened? Or the other way around, how happy I was because I did 'that and that' during that day.
You can make a separate design for a mood tracker or reserve a page, but you can also keep track of your mood in the habit tracker. Then a correlation soon becomes visible. An overview can be set up per week, month or per year. Year overviews often show 'Year In Pixels'. By using a tracker, you can learn to recognise patterns. When you see a trend, you can act on it.
How to start a mood tracker
Actually, you don't need much, a sheet of paper (booklet) and a pen. You can make it as elaborate as you like. With color, black and white, with doodles, a written word etc. On my tracker Pinterest board, you will find a lot of examples.
Think about the emotions you would like to identify. It can be quite difficult to pinpoint a particular feeling, so I've put together a list to help you. You can view the list of most emotion names here and download it. Would you rather have a print friendly version, then click here. If you have a clear understanding of the feelings you want to follow, decide if you want to link a symbol, colour, pattern or text to the emotion.
Following moods to live in the here and now
Sometimes there are those days when you drag yourself through the day. When I'm having a bad day, it feels like it's been like that for a long time and if something is 'always' so negative. Of course it isn't, but the feeling is there. Because I started using a mood tracker, I can easily visually distinguish the bad days from the good days. When you evaluate emotions in this way, you can be surprised at the amount of good days you have. 💜
When you see that you have more good days than bad, the spiral begins to turn the other way and the number of fine days can grow and with that you will experience more happiness.
Monthly mood tracker
Moodtrackers are usually set up with colour, in a model and per month.. The designs may match the theme you apply that month, or it may be something completely different. I have set up mood trackers as charts, both bar chart, pie chart and line chart, but also a mandala has served as a mood tracker. I used them very colorful or minimalistic. I like to experiment with styles and applications and with which emotions I want to keep track of.
It's very personal
As with any subject in a bullet journal, it's important that you set it up for you, so that it works for you! It has to suit you for it to help you. To give an example from my bullet journal, I followed my level of fatigue and the amount of hours of sleep to improve my energy level. I have also related the phases of the moon to my mood.
The feelings you register should be described in such a way that they correspond to your experience. Otherwise, you're mapping out a state of mind that doesn't apply to you. Our feelings will never be the same as someone else's. My definition of a happy day can be very different from your definition of a happy day. A waste of your time and energy if you don't link your own emotions to your tracker. Grab the 'emotion words list' or Google on your mood right now. To give you a search orientation; the basic emotions on which you can browse are:
In these main groups you will find nuances that can be reduced to these four basic emotions. What's that supposed to mean? For example, 'fear' can be defined as feeling rejected, fear of failure, distrust. Maybe this will help you express your feelings.
The benefits of a mood tracker in a nutshell
- It allows you to connect your feelings to what happened during the day.
- You can better understand your triggers. The cause of a certain feeling becomes more clear.
- By keeping track of your emotions, a doctor or counselor can provide advice on making a diagnosis, if necessary.
- Identifying your state of mind reveals patterns.
- Keeping a mood tracker gives you space and time to really experience and address your feelings.
- You gain insight into what you really need to take care for yourself.
- Communicating to others about what concerns you becomes less difficult.
- The possibility to ask for support in a more effective way.
It's especially fun to work with your bullet journal and tackers
"Creativity promotes the development of problem-solving capacity"
Below are some sample trackers from my bullet journals to help you find your triggers and experience more happy days. I find the bullet journal setup of @jodie_journals on Instagram awesome. I have been following this lady from Sydney Australia for some time now and love her use of color and themes. These are three of her trackers. Aren't they amazing?! A visit to her Instragram account is definitely worth it.