With the dawn of technology, it is now possible to analyze the progression of almost anything in your life. From tracking the progress of your workouts with wearables like Fitbit to following the popularity of your social media posts. However, there is one area that is lacking this insight and data: your emotions.
Emotional self-regulation should be just as or more popular than tracking your physical health. Our emotional states define our experience of everyday life. It defines the success of our interactions and our general feeling of contentment with ourselves. If your emotions are out of balance, then it will negatively affect your health. Whether it’s by building negative habits (excessive consumption of alcohol is a common one), or by impeding your ability to build positive habits like working out because you are not in touch with the most important part of yourself. By taking the time to track your emotions, you increase your self-awareness, and you may find yourself observing emotional patterns. As a result, you can then prevent/prepare yourself for negative moods. Managing your emotions will help you feel better faster. Other benefits to managing and analyzing your emotions are being able to identify triggers or self-defeating behaviors. With information about your emotions, you can create strategies that protect you during low moods or harmful impulses [i]. Best of all, in general you can create strategies that personally fit you and your needs. Tracking will allow you to make better informed decisions about your health and allow you to work towards a better quality of life.
There are many ways to track your emotional wellbeing apps like MyTherapy, Breathe2Relax, and Moodkit that allow you to track the progression of your emotions right on your phone. They usually offer functions like journaling or have the ability to guide you through exercises when you find yourself at a low point. If online applications are not for you, there are many sites that have free printables or journaling ideas for you to keep track of on paper. They can be customized to fit your needs, so you have full reign over your journal. You can have boxes that you fill in each day with the color of your mood, or have different writing prompts for each day. Bullet point lists or long thought out sentences, this process can be turned into a fun activity that you do to wind down at night rather than scrolling through emails or social media.
One of the newest ways to track your emotions is by the use of biofeedback or neurofeedback. This data is usually processed in the form of a wearable device that measures your emotions based on a variety of different biological functions. Examples of this include headsets that read your brainwaves, bracelets that take your heart rate variability (HRV) and your skin temperature, or watches that measure your stress levels (they combine different metrics to measure stress). The best part about this wearable technology is that it serves as an unbiased perspective on your emotions. Biofeedback can give insights about how your body responds to your emotions, insights you might not otherwise notice. Pairing this technology with your journaling or self tracking can give you the edge you may need to support your emotional health.
Whatever path you choose, the most important part is keeping up with monitoring your emotional resilience. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health, if not more. It is time to treat your health holistically and give yourself the opportunity to make well informed decisions. Try out the different ways to track your emotional health and find what’s best for you. Everyone is unique, so what works for a friend might not fit your needs. It is time to engage with your emotions and give yourself the attention you deserve.
[i] “Monitoring Your Mood.” Better Health Channel, 14 Jan. 2021, www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/monitoring-your-mood.
[ii] “Mood Tracker Apps: Learn More about Some of the Best Options Here.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 31 Aug. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mood-tracker-app#mood-tracker-apps.
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