Among many features of anxiety comes tense muscles. Tenseness may not be something that is regularly thought of in correlation to anxiety, but it is definitely something to be aware of. The Mood Triggers Application asks a variety of questions about anxiety, one of them being “How tense do you feel right now?” Being asked to think of your physical body features is one way to be more aware of the symptoms that come with your anxiety, which will in turn help you to better control your mood. Furthermore, you will be able to track what types of situations lead to the variety of symptoms you encounter. For example, writing an essay may make you very tense while preparing for a presentation may make you shaky (which is a focus of another anxiety question). This knowledge will help you to focus on all anxiety triggering events in their own way, as not every circumstance will lead to the same feelings and physical manifestations.
The Mood Triggers application gives you the ability to track anything you consider to be a negative event that has occurred since you last took the survey. Outside of asking if a negative event has occurred, the survey prompts you to answer questions about the negative event in relation to yourself: your contribution to the event as well as your ability to change the possible outcome. These questions will allow you to reflect on the general reaction you have when a negative event occurs. While it is quite easy (and often expected) to react pessimistically to a negative event, allowing these incidents to take over your mood can easily lead to depression.
Tracking your reactions to and the regularity of negative events in your life may also lead to a new discovery in the cause of your depression, which could be an ideal topic to discuss in therapy. You will be able to talk with your therapist about different methods of coping with any given negative event, as well as discuss why some events make you react so poorly. With recognition and discussion, you will be able to have more positive responses!
Among the large variety of aspects tracked by Mood Triggers is the weather. It is very easy to have your mood affected by the weather, such as being in a worse, sadder, mood when the day is rainy and being in a more upbeat mood when the day is sunny. Your mood is also liable to change with the season; in the winter, when it is colder and dark earlier, you may be sadder than you are in the summer. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is an extremely common disorder. There are specific therapies designed to combat SAD, such as light therapy, but the only way to know you need to use a therapy specific to the environment is by properly tracking your mood. With Mood Triggers, your mood, the weather, and many other factors to your mood are kept in one spot, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of your mood and its influencers; you can just check your phone!
The Mood Triggers application prompts you hourly to take a quick survey. Within this survey, there are many questions that focus on your anxiety, depression, and triggers. However, the most helpful aspect to this app is that it only asks about the past hour, as you would have taken the survey an hour before. This makes the app more accurate in figuring out what is truly triggering your negative emotions because it is specific and regular, rather than general and only when you feel anxious or depressed. Being consistent with the surveys will allow you to have a very accurate reading of when you are feeling anxious or depressed, and why you are feeling that way.
When reflecting on your past week or two in therapy, it can be very difficult to remember exactly how you were feeling. If an emotion was prominent you may recall it, but it is much easier to discuss how you feel in the moment than to remember all the emotions you had in the past week. This is where the Mood Triggers application can come in. You will remember how you felt every day throughout different times and parts, so if one day or one time period is causing you extreme stress, you will be able to properly identify it and discuss it in therapy to get better.
Anxiety, depression, and any other mood disorder can be triggered by a plethora of perceptions and outside influences. There are so many different, small things that can begin a spiral into a bad mood or intense anxiety, and it can sometimes be very difficult to label one specific thing as the reason for your issue. The Mood Triggers app can do this for you, so you do not have to worry about why you feel the way you do! There are a multitude of different triggers this app might identify as influencing your mood, such as: helplessness, hopelessness, self reported arousal, fatigue, avoidance, heart rate, and so many more. Once you are able to identify what triggers your anxiety or depression the most, you will be able to work towards getting better by focusing on the most prominent triggers.
You will also have something to focus on in therapy, and when your therapist asks how you have been, you will have a much easier time answering. You will have been tracking your mood very regularly, which will help you to recall almost exactly how you were feeling throughout the week, and better yet, why you were feeling that way. There are a myriad of possible reasons you are feeling the way you feel, but the Mood Triggers app will help find the most dominant problem that you can work on in therapy and in everyday life.
The Mood Triggers application allows you to report your arousal levels. Arousal is often a physiological sign of your anxiety, and can be distracting when you are trying to focus. Your muscles may be tense, your hands might begin sweating, your heart rate may speeden; your body will be focusing on the arousal from your anxiety, which will distract you from what is more important. Using the app to track your arousal levels will you help you to see if this is a strong contributor to your anxiety, especially in comparison to helplessness, fatigue, hopelessness, avoidance, or anything else. Once you are more aware of your physical symptoms of anxiety, you will be able to focus on fixing that. If physiological arousal does seem to have a strong effect on you or is a regular occurrence, tracking it will help your therapy sessions become even more beneficial. You will be able to tell your therapist exactly when (and why) you were feeling so anxious at the time as well as what symptoms were experiencing. Through discussing your body’s arousal, you will be able to find and work on techniques that will work on calming your physical body, and in turn, calming your mind.
One major symptom and trigger of depression is hopelessness. With depression often comes a lack of belief in positivity, such as thinking that the world is monotonous and always will be monotonous. This can lead to further depression because of the way it may lead you to act. If you think you will never succeed in life, then you may become apathetic towards your schoolwork or your job, which could lead to poor results. These results could then lead to further hopelessness, and it will just become a nasty cycle.
However, there is a way to stop this cycle. With the Mood Triggers App, you will be able to identify what is the main cause of your unhappy moods. While the app will not fix your moods for you, it will help you to identify that hopelessness (or a variety of other things) is causing you to feel more depressed. With this information, you can focus and try to work on the thoughts you allow yourself to believe, as well as talk to your therapist and work with him/her on certain mechanisms to help you become more hopeful.