Plotting your moods on a chart and making changes based on these patterns can be an effective tool for treating bipolar disorder, or anyone suffering from negative moods.
Psychologists have long since used this method. Encouraging patients to write a mood diary, charting on a scale of one to ten how they are feeling, writing what they have eaten, how much money they have spent, how many cigarettes they smoked, just about anything that could be charted on a daily basis. When Bi-polar sufferer and former neuro surgeon Liz Miller was going through her long struggle with the mental illness, she began mood mapping out of obsessive introspection. She believed that if she wrote everything down she could look for clues so she didn’t have to be ill again.
A simple but effective concept as she realised that you could plot energy and wellbeing as two axes and put four basic moods on a map.
Through developing this chart and plotting her own moods multiple times throughout the day she could make changes and stabilise how she felt. Health was one of her main mood triggers, so she gave up junk food,started exercising in the open air and stopped smoking. Now, after mood mapping for a decade, she has been medication-free for eight years.
When Miller shared her technique with firefighters, it worked for them, too, which led to the realisation that mood mapping could also treat anxiety, work stress,physical pain and everyday life with its worries. Now Miller has a new book out and,in recognition of her work, she was voted mental-health charity Mind champion the year in 2008.