I officially started to track mood in a rudimental way about three years ago, after a period we may define as “depression”.
Then, about one year later, I met the world of forex and I was fascinated by the patterns you can spot here. I thought I could start to see patterns also in my mood. This was the official start: tracking the mood with candle bars on Google spreadsheet. A candle is composed by: Min, Open, Close, Max. The first was about the minimum mood touched in one our; the second the mood of the previous close; the third the mood in a specific minute (called close time); the last the maximum mood touched in one hour. For example, if I listen to music and I feel shivers, the high rises. If I cry, as you can imagine, my min goes down. In this phase, I thought many things , like eating great dishes or see a beautiful place, didn’t change my mood.
With the time I learned to change the scale of the measurements. I mean that at the beggining I had a very strict scale, say from 1 to 6. The result was a repetitive chart. In a second moment I had a scale from 0.2 to 1.8.
Many other things changed with the months: I started to write comments that triggered a specific mood, to experiment “how the mood is composed”, to spot the days where my mood could change (support and resistance in the forex language).
In the last 6 months I had the major developments: I started to study how the mood is composed, thanks also to the comments I made that helped me to create the “sections”. I splitted the mood in the high section (HS) and the low section (LS). But don’t confound it with the min and the max. The HS is composed by parameters, expressed in %: Energy, Enviroment (position, quality of the air…), Biological/Pleasure, Fun, School/Research(Productivity), Relaxation/Flow. The Average of this % create the Max of the candlebar. The LS is composed by: Physical condition (fatigue, illness, hunger, thirst), Environment, Sadness/Disgust, Boredom, Procrastination/Willpower, Stress/Anxiety/Fear, Anger. Knowing Chris Dancy helped me to spot some parameters. So he really enriched me.
As you can see there are 13 parameters, and as you can imagine, it isn’t so immediate to remeber all the events that triggered a parameter. Of course some devices can help to automate partially some parameters.
The point is that I’m confused about the nature of all this parameters. When I measure them, do I consider the peak, the average, or something else? I make an example: you pass 1 hour with your friends laughing very hard. If we consider the average (avg) of that hour, the Fun parameter will be at 90 at least. But if we consider the peaks, the parameter will be at 100 for sure. For the moment I think I measure the semi-peak: a feeling that occurs for more than X minutes. This avoids very fast feelings that are too difficult to track because they don’t stay “in the mind” enough time to be seen consciously.
Another consideration is that I think there is another consequence of avg measurements and peak one. In the first case the candlebars are flatter, so you can have the impression to feel pretty much in the same way. In the second case you can have the impression to have serious mood swings.
Then, another hot point of my way of measuring: How do I know a parameter is in a specific % and not in another? I noticed the parameters are, generally, in a range of 8%. The measurements are made typically during a “period” (e.g. 3-6pm). But I noticed that parameters are different if measured during or at the end of the period.
The accuracy of the measurements is pretty compromised and I learned to be not so mathematically choosey.
Here’s a summary of the issues I see in my mood log:
I don’t know how to analyze statistically the triggers I insert in the comments.
I can’t code and if I have an idea, I don’t have the skill to develop it.
I can’t visualize the triggers in the comments. I suppose I can do it in TicTrac.
I can’t do correlations between parameters. For example, cold temperatures and productivity. I’m afraid the spreadsheet will be a complete mess if I add also this thing. That’s why I think I urge a clean UI like the TicTrack one.
I don’t have the patterns for extra-ordinary situations. If I make something special, it’s not so easy to quantify the % of various parameters.
Now I changed it to four, but in the last weeks I had 6 periods. This mean I had 13*6 parameters to track daily. I’m afraid to miss important events if I reduce the periods in a day. I remind you that periods are range of hours. These ones were my ranges: 5.30 (dreams parameters), 9.30, 12.30, 15.30, 18.30, 23.00
I don’t know what some parameters really mean. It’s the case of productivity, relaxation. First case: if I go to the disco, how will my productivity be?
If I’m on holydays at the Hawaii, how will my productivity be?
How do I distinguish a 99% relaxation from a 84% one? In the case of pleasure, I noticed that hives are also present in hands if the pleasure is particularly high.
As mentioned before, how can I distinguish a 99% parameter from a 87%? I thought I can create a sort of pyramid of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction for the LS) for any parameter. But, hey, can you imagine the time to check this every time? A badass AI in smart glasses can do this in, maybe, 15 years.
Once there is the data and the visualization, how can you solve the triggers that increase parameters in the LS? Again, if there was an IA like Siri that gives you advice every time it spots some triggers, there would be no problem. But nowdays you have to search manually how to solve situations, and this can requeire a lot of time. Searching and reading useful articles it’s not so time friendly, in my opinion, especially for people who work.
My mother doesn’t know I track daily my mood. Recently she saw the spreadsheet and she was confused to see so many numbers so near. That’s also why I’d like to make less complex and more user friendly the mood log.
I suppose you have many questions now. Did you notice some parameters increase while reading all this? Let me now