Mood Meter – Purpose and how to use
Acknowledging the emotions and discussing feelings can play a big role in a person’s life throughout the day. If we ask you how you are feeling, what your answer will be? Happy? Sad? Our vocabulary is very limited when talked about emotions. Expressing emotions and noticing them can help children or adults in number of ways. You would also have made a decision that made you regret later. Our outer behavior is greatly influenced by our inner feelings. Raising awareness about these feelings is a vast manner is very important and a mood meter can prove a successful tool for this approach.
A mood meter provides way to talk to our feelings. As our feelings can affect our decision making, analyzing our emotions and feelings will make us take right decisions. Adopting a more soothing lifestyle with a good understanding of one’s feelings can look very easy with the help of a mood meter. A mood meter gives reason to discuss feelings with family members. You can know about emotions of each other and can develop optimum strategies to regulate those changing emotions. This article will give you an insight about how a mood meter can bring in positive change in your life. Keep reading below to find more.
What is mood meter
A mood meter is a square divided into four quadrants with two axis. Each four quadrant has a different color – red, blue, green and yellow. These different colors represent a different set of feelings. These feelings are separate from each other on the basis of their pleasantness and the energy level associated with that feeling. The horizontal axis of the meter shows pleasantness levels ranging from -5 in the left to +5 in the right. The vertical axis represents the energy felt in body during such feelings and ranges from -5 in the bottom to +5 on the top. Feelings with the same level of pleasantness and energy are grouped together. Different colors in mood meter shows following set of feelings :-
- Red – red color is used to show feelings that are high in energy and low in pleasantness, for example – angry or scared.
- Blue – blue is used to represent the feelings associated with low level of energy and low level of pleasantness, for example – lonely and sad.
- Green – green color is used to show feelings that are low in energy but high in pleasantness, for example – relaxed and calm.
- Yellow – yellow is used to represent the feelings associated with high level of energy and high level of pleasantness, for example – curious and happy.
Feelings generally have values in the middle of a square. Mood meter is also widely used for children where a simpler version with colors only work better. The red color is said to represent angry, green represent calm, blue represent sad and yellow represent happy. Parents can use mood meter to mutually discuss feelings of their children and to get better understanding of their behavior to plan improvements, if any.
Purpose of mood meter
Being mindful about our emotions can be a big step towards emotional intelligence. The main purpose of a mood meter is to promote emotional intelligence. A mood meter gives a chance for introspection by knowing your inner feelings. You will learn to recognize and label your emotions by using a mood meter. Placing them at right place and discussing them with your family members will bring more mindfulness to you. As understanding the whole scope of your emotional life can bring a good change in you and you will be take good decisions in your life, a mood meter can be a great self regulation tool.
Mood meter is found very working in improving a child’s emotional intelligence. A child whose main aim is to learn also experiences numerous emotions. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, insecurity and anger can affect their learning power badly. Tracking their feelings with the help of mood meter becomes very easy. It is seen that mild feelings of unpleasantness like sadness and frustration can develop empathy and perseverance. Any extremity can be a matter of concern. Parents can learn about their child’s unpleasant emotions and necessary plans in a timely manner can be made to either manage these feelings, change them or accept them.
How to use mood meter
Labeling your emotions onto a mood meter and assessing the pleasantness and energy levels of these emotions can help you if you’re trying for self improvement. You can assess these emotions for taking further steps in your life. You can easily use a mood meter by following the steps below :-
Label your emotions
Using mood meter starts by labeling your feelings. On the basis of levels of energy and pleasantness, plot your feelings on the right color box. Without thinking about in which quadrant your feelings are lying the most, label your every emotion. Don’t feel regretted if you are falling at a bottom place in mood meter. If you are not being able to assess your inner feelings, give some time to yourself. You can also use ready made mood meters with emotions already printed on them where you can tick what you are feeling or you can also use a mobile application (yes, there are mood meter applications).
Don’t label emotions as good or bad
One think that’s really important when following this self regulation exercise is that not any emotion is bad. So, you don’t need to feel guilty by labeling your emotions as bad. You must avoid the terms ‘good’ or ‘bad’ while labeling your emotions. Try to keep in mind that not any feeling is bad or invalid. Even if there’s a feeling that you don’t want to feel, label it also without thinking it’s negative. You have to think how you can move this low energy to high energy and unpleasantness to pleasantness.
Assess why you are feeling so?
After that you have written down all your feelings, it’s time to analyze why you are feeling so. Think about the reason that makes you feel the way you feel. Go through your past lifestyle and find if there’s something that caused this emotional state. Try to assess feelings of every quadrant. You may be feeling lonely because you haven’t left your house for five days. You may be feeling calm because you just talked with your best friend. You may be angry because of the ongoing political situation and other bad news.
Decide your next step
Think about what you can do to control such feelings and shift your focus to something more pleasant. You can plan short term plans for managing emotions in that moment or plan long term strategies to manage emotions over time. You can also take help of educators who are full of such long and short term strategies for managing emotions of children and families for better self regulation. Some common strategies that you can use for managing emotions include :-
- Drinking water
- Taking deep breaths
- Taking a short walk
- Talking with a best friend or spending more time with family
- Thinking about negativity in a better way
- Taking a short break from work
- Eating a healthy meal
- Consulting a therapist
- Doing gardening
Re analyze your steps
After thinking about different short or long term strategies for self regulation, you should try to implement them and then assess their effectiveness. If the strategy works for you, it’s wonderful. If it didn’t work, give it an another try. Don’t lose hope and stay positive while following such strategies. You can also take help of a friend or family member while following such strategies.
A mood meter can prove to be a successful tool when trying to reduce stress. The four blocks of mood meter can become the building blocks of one’s emotional awareness. As emotional intelligence is really needed in today’s world, a mood meter can become an important tool to be more mindful. Children can expand their knowledge about emotions with it’s help. As knowing “happy” or “sad” is simply not enough, educators can use mood meter to create an increased vocabulary about human emotions. While using a mood meter, you can follow a simple RULER rule. You need to Recognize what you’re feeling, Understand what made you feel this way, Label such emotion on your mood meter without feeling any bad, Express what you did when feeling so and Regulate what you can do to manage such emotions. Follow these steps and you’ll become more emotionally intelligent in work and in life.