Mood diary

Mood diary 2015-06-01T19:44:55+00:00

For many of us just recognizing and understanding our feelings is a lifelong task and a difficult one. We are so busy just trying to get through, paying the mortgage, rearing our kids, doing the next thing. With depression, however, recognizing and experiencing emotions is essential to recovery. Indeed, it is the starting point for overcoming and preventing depression. Due to what Freud called “repression”, lots of feelings, emotions and even parts of ourselves can be repressed out of our conscious mind. This causes havoc with everyday living. Indeed, repressed emotions drain ourselves of life and vitality. Many individuals who struggle with depression can be apprehensive of being in touch with their emotional selves. They are out of touch with their emotions because they fear feeling them. Many of us treat other individual’s feelings with respect and compassion the very ingredient needed to treat depression.

In treating depression, therapists will often recommend keeping a Mood Diary as part of treatment. This can be very structured as in using an Excel sheet or more fluid like a daily journal. It’s a tool to slow the individual down and is designed to help trace and monitor feelings. The Mood Diary is a powerful tool in developing awareness of the mind and body connection.

When you are aware of a shift in your mood, write down the feeling (such as neutral to very sad ), what your are sensing in your physical body (tightness in chest, butterflies in stomach), external circumstances (what you were doing, where, who you were with), and the internal circumstances (what you were thinking, daydreaming/fantasizing or remembering). Then describe how you believe a well-adjusted person might feel (such as happy, sad, proud, discouraged). Then rate how much your mood agrees with those feelings (1= no agreement, 10 = complete agreement).

Review the Mood Diary each day, and at the end of each week to see emerging patterns.  The Mood Diary is to assist in locating your emotions and in listening  to them with a compassionate heart. In tandem with therapy it helps individuals make strides in recovering from depression.