Earlier this year, I’ve been dealing with a nasty long-term depression. Circumstances are not always as we wish them to be like and if you are one of many people that suffer from negative feelings, going through a crisis or simply want to be happier, you need to give this a try.
I know too well how difficult it is to get up in the morning when you don’t even feel like breathing! Let’s put all of these problems aside for now and focus on how you can live your life better. Ready?
Last Christmas, I started journaling again after a 2-year break. I wasn’t sure about this at first but because I didn’t want to ventilate my depressive mood on my family (and no, I am not the kind of person who’d go to see a therapist voluntarily nor can I afford one, besides, I can do this, right?), I’ve decided to write it down instead. This alone is very therapeutic because you are unloading whatever it is that’s holding you back and weighing you down.
We were watching some movie with my fiancée and there was a line that said ‘You don’t want to feel this way, do you?’. Now, I can’t remember what movie it was or who said it, but it struck me like a lightning bolt and I thought to myself ‘This is it!’. And that’s how the mood tracking was born!
As soon as we stepped into a new year 2016, I started logging how I felt. How I felt for real. As the days went by and we got to the end of January, I could clearly see how my mood was up and down all the time.
This is the keynote of the mood tracking – pattern.
By recording your mood every day for at least 30 days, you will get a perfect picture of your mental state. How can you tell if it’s ok? Take a piece of paper, draw a line in the middle and write ‘negative’ on one side and ‘positive’ on the other side of the paper. Go back to the first day you started tracking your mood and enter each one to a relevant column. Once you’re finished, look at it. What column is dominant? Is that alright with you?
It wasn’t alright with me and here is what happened:
After reviewing my mood, I got upset AND determined to change this not very positive result at the same time. The main question I had to ask myself was ‘Who is to blame for me feeling like this?’. I can actually hear you say it – nobody. I’m sure there are people in everybody’s life that are not exactly pleasant and we all have to put up with them, but first, you have to take care of yourself and your own health in order to be here for others (if that’s what you’re thinking).
Next morning when I sat down with my journal, I decided to record a positive mood only. And yes, even when I didn’t feel like being positive at all. Some days were hard and I had to literally force my hand to write that affirmative word. I know how it sounds but that’s the truth. It was because of these difficult days that another thing was coined, and that was my ‘Good morning, positive mindset’ spread on two pages. I used only the good and happy words! See, what I did here?
Every morning when I couldn’t think of anything positive that I might be feeling, I simply opened this spread and always wrote down the most appealing word to me that day. Sometimes, you need to push yourself like this which brings us to another essential aspect:
Fake it till you feel it!
Easier said than done but trust me, it works. I’ve done it many times to be able to confirm its effect and you can do this too! It will probably feel a bit odd the first few days but you will start feeling better. Your mindset will become more positive because you will be maintaining positive words and feelings as you say it out loud each time you write the word – say it, say it again and again. It is very hard for your brain to stay in a negative corner when out of your mouth are pouring happy feelings! Just try to be angry when saying aloud ‘I am happy, I am excited about today, I love my wonderful life’. You will burst out laughing because it is absurd being negative while yelling those words!
Bear in mind, this is good for everybody; there is no need to suffer mentally in order to track your mood! I mean, 10 months later and I still love it. Like I said before, you can be positive as much as you want but there are days when you don’t feel like bouncing about with high positive energy so keep recording no matter what. It will make you happier as you browse through your notebook for future references.
How you set your mind in the morning is going to reflect on how your day is going to be! Mood tracking will get you on the right path – it’s such a simple solution! Many of you have asked about this on Facebook and Instagram when you’ve seen my weekly bullet journal spread picture, and some of you already tried it and gave a positive feedback after only one week!
If you don’t have a notebook, go and buy one today, start mood tracking tomorrow morning, after breakfast if you prefer, and let me know your progress! I am always happy to hear from you 🙂
♥♥♥ Love to all ♥♥♥
The notebook used is my beloved Leuchtturm1917.