Measuring your mood can help you improve or stay on top.
How can we identify and manage our mood? It’s tricky. When is our mood ‘normal’ and when does our mood mandate action to either change or maintain it?
When it comes to a mental illness such as depression – which at its worst can lead to suicide – the need for a simple but useful tool to assess our mood is critical.
Enter the “moodometer” – a simple sliding scale that compels you to think about your mood and act where appropriate. This is a really useful concept that I will be referring to throughout my blog posts on this site.
Where are you on the moodometer?
Dying or Thriving?
“Zero” on the moodometer is a big red warning that you need to take seriously. At this end of the scale, you feel you have lost all hope and see no prospect of life getting better. The pain may be too much and you may seriously be considering ending it all.
You cannot afford to do nothing. If you are feeling suicidal right now, consider contacting an organization such as Lifeline or the Samaritans, or even your local emergency service.
On the other end of the scale, we feel on top of the world. Energised, focused and alert, we can handle whatever life throws at us; depression seems like a distant memory. But don’t get complacent – the resilience strategies you have developed to get yourself to this stage must be maintained in order for you to continue to thrive and flourish.
In the middle, you may be displaying some symptoms of depression, such as sleep loss, anxiety or reduced productivity. Whilst you’re not in the depths of hopelessness, you’re not thriving either. On this delicate middle ground, you must build up your coping and resilience strategies to move up the scale.
Where you are on the scale determines your approach: 0-5 – cope with and recover from depression and get yourself to level 5. 5-10: Change tack to focus on getting on top and staying there!
No matter who you are or when you last had depression – if ever – everyone is capable of moving up and down the scale. Would you rather be dying, or thriving?
Things happen in life – we lose a loved one, get retrenched, split from our partner etc. , and it is natural to slide down the moodometer. What is important, is how quickly we bounce back, and the focus of this blog will be to share strategies that help with that.
Even though you may have finally recovered from depression – by whatever means – there’s always the risk of a relapse. If you’re reliant on medication to avoid depression, is that something you want to be on forever, with all the risks and side effects such a path entails?
If you’re thriving, do you have the safeguards in place to prevent a life event or situational trigger from hitting you like a freight train and throwing you into the depths?
Your Armour-Plated Shield Against Depression – Resilience
With strong resilience strategies, you can identify depression before it takes over you and stay on top of your mood. If you do fall into a depressive state, you won’t stay there for long – you will have not just the tools, but also the knowledge, practice and resources to take yourself back from the brink faster and without as much pain and suffering. Depression will not control you, and you won’t fear it.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, we will discuss aspects of resilience strategies that can help you develop your mind and body to both survive depression and thrive when you’re at your peak. Keep checking on this blog regularly and be sure to sign up to our mailing list if you haven’t already!