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Managing My Motherfucking Moods

№320
~5 minutes
InHealth

    In which I spend six months being my own emotional detective, tracking my moods and figuring out what makes me tick.

    Tick fucking tock.

    Six months ago, continuing from The End, I made the decision to try to defuse this cancerous bomb of mine instead of letting it keep on ticking.

    I wanted to understand what I felt when I felt it but most importantly, why I felt it.

    I needed a way to speak back to all the fucked-up little voices in my head.

    One thing you can’t hide - is when you’re crippled inside. John Lennon

    Because I wasn’t sure where to start, I looked for the first clue I could find; The ticking clock of my moods.

    Now there are many mood tracking apps out there and this isn’t a review about any of them. There are plenty of reviews out there if you’re interested in that.

    And the National Institute of Health recently published a report looking at the benefits of mood-quantification apps in their study, Daylio: mood-quantification for a less stressful you.

    No, this is the story of how I came to better understand what makes me tick.

    I typed, “mood tracking,” into Google Play and installed the first one—

    —No wait, I didn’t do that at all.

    I read about it on another blog, which mentioned Daylio so that’s what I installed.

    I don’t know how I couldn’t remember that at first.

    Daylio is a mood-tracking and micro diary. Available for Android and iOS.

    The app’s premise is simple; Every day, at a time of your choosing, you’re asked, “How are you?” and greeted by a set of emojis ranging from ‘Rad’ to ‘Awful’ by which you can reply and tell Daylio how you are.

    Screenshot of picking your mood in Daylio.
    It knows what you did last summer. If you told it.

    You then include what you’ve been up to that day by selecting icons that match your activities—you can add your own—and an optional brief note.

    And that’s it.

    Done.

    You’ve now tracked your mood.

    And that’s what I did every day. For six months.

    Tick tock.

    The UPs and DOWNs of six months of mood tracking
    Green is my average mood per week, grey is worst mood.

    Tick tock.

    If you had asked me before I started this, I would have assumed that I felt like shit most of the time.

    That I mostly would have had, as Daylio calls it, Bad days.

    Turns out, I don’t.

    Whilst I definitely have Bad, and even Awful, days, a majority of my days are actually Good.

    As a matter of fact, in the past six months I’ve had 33 Rad days, 102 Good days, 41 Meh days, 3 Bad days and only 2 Awful days.

    I later figured out that you can actually rename the moods if you, for instance, feel that Rad is a bit too much 90s.

    The Bad and Awful days that I did have were often because of migraines, stress at work or fights with Rebecka.

    For a quarter of my days, I had included notes to flesh out the mystery of why I had felt in that particular way that day.

    Some of which simply read, “Titanium pains.”

    That, was a Bad day.

    Others read, “Lucien won me in chess for the first time.”

    I remember that being a Good day, his face lighting up with joy as he began gloating about his victory.

    Before I started tracking my mood, I could be angry for days before figuring out why I was angry.

    Tick tock.

    And once I did, it turns out it was usually about something else.

    After a couple of months I could already tell the difference my mood-tracking was having as what would have previously taken several days, I now figured out in a single day.

    I still remember the first time I manage to understand my own emotions in the same day, beaming with pride I thought, “This is amazing, I understand my own feelings, this is like a super-power.”

    I have become, “Emotional-man, thwarting crime by crying a lot and at inappropriate times.”

    Now I’ve gotten to the level where I can figure out that I’m not angry and why in an hour or less.

    And whilst I’m definitely not done laying the stick and stones for what will hopefully become the foundation for doing my own emotional labor, I’ve at least managed to take a few steps in the right direction.

    In the meantime, I will keep uncovering and solving the mysteries that are the emotional wreckage that is me, in an effort to defuse this bomb of mine.

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