Why Track My Mood If I'm Just Anxious?
Mood trackers aren't just for depression or bipolar. They can help you recognize and manage panic, anxiety and stress. Anxiety affects people's moods and many people struggle with depressive symptoms as well as anxiety issues. Crucial to treating anxiety is understanding how symptoms overlap and how that affects you.
Tracking your mood helps you experience more control over anxiety. It can pinpoint your baseline anxiety level. I was able to study what wasn't working for me in therapy and what was, which helped me decide what to try next.
Tracking my mood narrowed my focus and I wasn't obsessing as much about what was so wrong with me I couldn't just do like everybody said and deal. I knew what my issues were. They were right there on the page -with the added bonus I could print them out and obsess over a piece of paper instead of what was in my head.
What feels worst in the moment may not even make your worst offender list; As devastating as repeated panic attacks are I've noticed that they don't flatten my mood with quite the same vigor PTSD triggers can, and that the panic is usually a result of not having dealt with prior symptoms because I wasn't paying attention.
Being aware of your mood and how it does or does not relate to specific, individual symptoms of anxiety is important information to have.
Some of my anxiety symptoms peak around certain times of year then drop off as subsequent depression sets in and I isolate myself from external stress. Knowing in advance helps, and knowing it's a pattern helps me not to feel as if it's happening for no reason, or out of the blue.
Doctors (and often even anxiety sufferers themselves) don't talk much about the long-term consequences of anxiety for mood.
Cortisol--the stress hormone-- plays a huge role in anxiety and mood disorders. It's also destabilizing; It changes the way the brain responds and the longer it hangs around, the longer you're dealing with major anxiety, the more likely it is your mood will also be affected.
Mood Trackers Help If You Aren't Anxious
Keeping an eye on your mood is a good idea for overall health.
It's a skill which can help you implement anxiety treatment strategies like mindfulness and change things in the direction of greater emotional competence. Some people make lists; I love lists but a mood tracker takes things one step further and allows me to look at bigger chunks of time.
Anxiety, the kind that can ruin relationships or lose you a job, is a long-term thing. It takes a lot of information to see how it's affecting your life and to treat anxiety effectively. That's where a mood tracker can help most.
White, K. (2011, June 16). Why Track My Mood If I'm Just Anxious?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, November 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2011/06/why-track-my-mood-if-im-just-anxious