One of the best tools I’ve found for fighting Depression is to head that slavering, rabid bull off at the pass, before it completely flattens me. And the best tool I’ve found for prevention is monitoring. Now, this may sound like a lot of work, frequently monitoring your emotional state, your moods, but I’ve found it worthwhile.
I really enjoy the Mood Panda app (available for both Android and iPhone). This colourful, easy-to-use app allows you to quickly rate your mood on a scaled of 1-10, record it with an optional brief comment, and view the results in the form of a graph, chart or a diary. You can also compare your reports over the last year, see how the rest of the world is faring, and “follow” other pandas, leaving them hugs or words of encouragement.
All well and good for smart phone users, but what if I’m not? I hear you ask. QM’s feasible without the tech, too, of course. Calendars/diaries/journals are useful for recording mood. Make a habit of it. Is there something you do regularly several times a day? Why not add one more step to it, and jot down how you’re feeling (I like the simplicity and rapidity of the 1 to 10 scale)? I’ve found that noting patterns in my emotional state can give me an advanced warning…and let me know when I need to pull out my paintbox of tricks to stop a downward spiral.
Additionally, utilizing frequent QM to note my emotional state helps me stay in the present, worrying about the past and future less. Dwelling in the past and having anxiety about the future are big triggers to Depression for me, so anything that helps me avoid that wins in my books.
What QM methods have you used? Have they yielded positive results?