Identifying Mood & Emotions
Days 12 – 13
In lessons 1 to 4 we have looked at:
Why it vital to understand our anxiety
How to calm down the panic
Getting a handle on catastrophizing
Understanding the impact that ‘Fight-or-Flight ‘ has on us
Challenging anxious thoughts
Digging deep and finding the real source of our anxiety
So far these tools will have calmed us down. They are based on CBT techniques, which have been proven to work.
Note: if you don’t feel the difference yet, may I suggest you run through them again? This will help the next two lessons work even better.
Even though we can start to relax, for many of us, anxiety has become ‘the norm’ and we need extra help to relax!
By ‘relax’ I mean to bring down the intensity of the anxiety so that the brain isn’t always on Fight-or-Flight mode.
Remember the smoke alarm illustration? It goes off whether there’s a full-scale emergency or a piece of toast burning in the grill. We need to retrain the brain to know the difference between a real emergency and burnt toast.
So, in bringing down the intensity of anxious thinking, we are ready to tackle the anxiety - head on.
Identifying Mood & Emotions
It’s time to become aware of what our mood is doing and what fluctuations there are. Keeping track of this information can help us in managing the anxiety by giving us a clearer picture of our progress.
It can also help us maintain success and prevent a relapse of our symptoms.
A mood and anxiety chart is a type of journal or diary used to track fluctuations in our moods and anxiety levels over time.
It is important, however, to have an idea of what our emotions are and for many of us, this has proved difficult. In the past we’ve numbed out or used fear to keep the adrenaline going so we can stay running away from ourselves.
Here’s a tool to help us identify our emotions.
Here is Plutchik's wheel of emotions. It identifies 8 basic emotions including joy, trust, fear, surprise, disgust, anger, and anticipation.
Wheel Of Emotions
Combinations of these basic emotions result in advanced emotions, such as optimism, love, submission, awe, disappointment, remorse, contempt, and aggression. This Wheel of Emotions diagram beautifully depicts the relationships between each emotion in the form of a spectrum.
This is for anyone who has a hard time picking out the right word to describe how he or she feels. Even if the word you want isn't on the spectrum, you might be able to point out what it's near.
Oh, and this printout looks great on an office wall!
Use this if you need guidance on identifying different emotion.
Monitoring Our Emotions
Now we have a tool to identify our emotions. This exercise helps us to monitor them.
Fill in this chart, with your emotion/s, every day for one week:
At the end of the week you will have a great idea of your mood, how it ebbs and flows. You will see patterns and when you need the most support to get through certain times of day.
This will help stabilize you because you will begin to know that you're not always anxious and there are times when you are positively calm.
The fastest way to cultivate calm is to learn new habits. We’ve been so anxious for so long it’s been impossible to find the calm spot.
Here’s a download, which takes just 7 minutes a day. You can listen to it when you need a to take a few minutes for yourself, when life gets hectic or you feel you just want to get grounded.
Just 7 minutes long, use daily - for one week - to establish a powerful anti-anxiety practice.
A relaxation track to establish a powerful calming practice. This is for anyone who suffers from anxiety. Just 7 minutes long. Use daily for 21 days to establish a powerful anti-anxiety practice.
It’s said that by putting in a new practice, it takes 21 days to take hold.