Monday, March 14, 2016

Tracking your emotions the day after

Did you ever have one of those mood rings that was supposed to reveal your emotional state by changing colors? Each color represented a different 'mood.' It's been years since I've had one, but I fully suspect that the color changes were based on body temperature, not really mood. I'm pretty sure there was a Wet N Wild lipstick that did just about the same thing! Wouldn't it be nice if there was jewelry that sensed our bad moods coming? Perhaps a watch that vibrated when we are about to lose our cool, reminding us to stand down? What if we received a text alert when we are feeling overly sensitive. SIRI might tell us, "Let it go! Let it go!" If I had a mood ring, I think it would be red on
Mondays.

Mondays are typically adrenaline dump days - that day when my body processes the adrenaline surge from Sunday's time of ministry. I wonder how many of us aren't even aware that we are struggling with this? Personally, I find myself exhausted, physically sore, and more sensitive and more irritable than usual. I often don't even recognize it until I'm crying at the gas pump or rolling my eyes at the junk mail. It's only then that I realize how ridiculous I am being. The attitude suffers right along with the rest of me. A nap might solve some, the rest of it needs kept in check with a big dose of self-control, prayer, and grace. Lots and lots of grace.

Self-awareness is the best way to manage adrenaline dump - if you don't recognize it, you just can't fix it, right? Spire is a wearable activity tracker that is supposed to sense when you are tense or stressed, and send you text messages to help you deal with it. It might be worth the $150 investment, although I would imagine our spouses, children, and friends could give us the same information for free. Or you could download a mood tracking app or even take notes in a journal throughout the day.You can learn to catch yourself if you know the patterns that occur.  And once you figure out those patterns, you can come up with ways to mitigate any negativity or unwanted behavior.

What is the pattern to your moods on a Monday? What consistencies do you notice? Does it change throughout the day? What strategies will you make to cope?

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