Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Mood Mapping #1

What are these mysterious maps? Charts of hidden treasure, or random doodles that I’m inflicting upon you owing to some whim? Perhaps both. They are copies of my Mood Maps for the past week.

Mood Mapping is one of those so-obvious-why-did-no-one-think-of-it-before ideas: tracking your daily moods on a simple chart, and ideas to help you control your mood. There’s so much I want to experience in life and having moods that can tend to ping between despair and elation is, well, not that helpful.

I forgot to do it on Thursday and Friday, mainly because I was so exhausted last week. If I had had any ‘should-ish’ qualms about leaving my job, following the Mood Maps and seeing my anxiety and stress levels down in black (or pink, or orange) and white, would squash them like the vermin they are.

The main thing I’ve gleaned (or rather remembered) this week is the striking obvious yet often forgotten fact that if I don’t sleep well I’m good for nothing. There are two reasons that I haven’t been sleeping well: stress and anxiety, and allergies.

The stress and anxiety came from doing a job where I had little control over what I was doing and little or no time for planning: often I’d be telling students what work they were doing at as I was reading through the sheet for the first time myself. When I went into work in the morning I had no idea what I would be doing that day, and wouldn’t know until 10 minutes before I had to be at my first class.

Compare that to the Mood Maps from the weekend! Even on Sunday, when I was lacking in energy owing to sniffles and allergy related sleep disturbance, I still felt positive and was still able to do, even if I wasn’t as productive as on Saturday.

Now I just need to work on controlling my allergies more. Seeing the impact a night of broken sleep has on my mood the next day has really motivated me to remember to take an antihistamine before bed and consider what changes I might need to make my environment.

This is a fascinating way of tracking and controlling your moods, and I’d highly recommend checking out the book or the website for more information. I’m continuing to track my moods this week, and will be for the rest of December. The insight into how my moods is going to be very useful when I’m juggling work and study and life in 2010.


  1. Great idea to track moods and try to understand the why and how of them. Sounds like yours are closely related to the unpleasantness at work.

  2. OK, I had to run downstairs and find the book that I found useful on the subject. It's called Paths Are Made By Walking, Practical Steps for Attaining Serenity, Using Spiritual and Emotional Intelligence at Home, at Work, and in Life by therese Jacobs-Stewart. Using neural science, the author offers twenty practice that will help you deal with life. There is a daily examination process that sounds similar to the mood mapping. Of course, you'll have to read it before you start school! Or maybe it will help you get through school. Who knows? When do you start school?

  3. Very interesting and beautifully put together.

  4. mountain mama - I start school on 11 January. (not that I'm excited or anything!)

    I've been doing this week as well and have already made a few discoveries that are oh-so-obvious in retrospect!

  5. Oh good, I'm glad you don't have to wait until fall to start school. It would be toooooo long!

  6. And I am not the most patient person!

  7. Hi J,

    Great to see you using Mood Mapping, don't forget to mention that the book is available on amazon at

  8. I don't want to risk doing mood maps coz I am sure it's going to give me the jitters!