While some people like to keep a diary to chronicle the events of their day, track nutrition or document a trip, a diary can also be a useful tool to support mental health.
Learn three ways that a mood diary can help to keep you mentally well.
1. A Diary Can Identify Signs of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense mood fluctuations. Even people being treated for bipolar disorder can still have a bipolar episode, either slipping into a depressive phase or experiencing a manic period. Keeping a daily mood diary can track changes that may predict a bipolar episode, helping a person stop it before it starts.
Mental health professionals suggest a rating system for each day. For example, a good day could be recorded as a “5” and a bad day could be a “1.” In order to track signs of bipolar and potential mood swings, it’s also important to note:
- Sleep patterns
- Changes in diet
- Anxiety level
2. A Diary Can Help to Maintain Healthy Habits
When you’re focused on avoiding a bipolar episode, you’re more likely to be devoted to healthy habits. Maintaining a diary keeps you accountable to yourself and helps you to track your thoughts, activities and challenges daily, which can help ward against behaviors that may trigger a bipolar episode.
3. A Diary Can Offer Valuable Insight to Your Doctor
As a record of your moods and important events, a diary can be a helpful diagnostic tool for your doctor or mental health specialist to have. A diary can shed light on potential triggers for depression or a mood disorder and offers information on how your mood has been since your last appointment.