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.
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.
The Mood Triggers app helps you help yourself. With hourly prompts, you do not have to put effort into trying to remember to input your feelings. Rather, the application will simply remind you that it is time to take a survey. All you have to do is click on the notification, take a minute to reflect on your mood, and let the app do the rest. The regularity of the survey is also important in tracking your mood, as it sees how your mood changes throughout the day. If you are just reflecting on your mood at the end of the day, you will not have the full context; you will probably only remember the more intense moods and how you are feeling in the current moment.
This is ideal for when you’re trying to learn more about your mood, but don’t have lots of time to really sit down and reflect. The app will gather all of your data, and simply tell you what may have the most triggering effects on your mood. This is really important when you are trying to get better, because you cannot get better if you don’t know what you need to focus on, or what has the biggest impact on your mood.
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.
It’s easy to have an attitude change after some event in your life (whether small or big). However, you should not let something trigger your depression, especially a small event or perception of the event. With the Mood Triggers App, you can find out if the main reason you are feeling depressed is because of how you process negative events. With this information, you can work on handling negative situations with a different attitude. While this may take time to do with ease, recognizing the problem is the first step to getting better.
Acknowledging that negative events may lead you to be more depressed can also help with therapy, for both the client and the therapist. This will allow you to discuss any negative events that happen on a given day, and approach it with a different, more positive viewpoint. Discussing events may help you to accept and move past certain things, as well as remove or lessen the intensity of any irrational thoughts you may have.
Sleep is one of the most important aspects to your overall well being, including your mental health. The Mood Triggers App allows you to track your sleeping patterns by allowing you to manually plug in your sleep and wake times. By doing this, you will be able to see the pattern of what times you have been going to sleep and waking up, and will be able to observe a correlation between your sleep and mood. Furthermore, when you are busy and forgetful of the time or when to go to sleep, the app will remind you to go to bed.
Lack of or too much sleep can contribute to the intensity of your depression/anxiety, so being aware of your sleeping patterns in correlation of your mood patterns could help you to have better control of how you feel. Because the app does remind you to go to sleep, it will help you to remember that you should be at least thinking about going to bed soon, as sometimes it can be easy to forget to go to bed until its 2am!
There are a multitude of contributors to any mental illness, so identifying them and working towards healthier patterns, no matter what the pattern may be. The Mood Triggers App can help you to be the healthiest, and happiest, you!