Mood Tracking Experiment: Relating Mood to Stress and Happiness

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symbols emotionsIn last post, I showed how I mapped 24 emotional states against two dimensions of mood (valence, a.k.a. pleasure, and arousal) using my self-tracking data from January. The resulting “map of emotions” proved that tracking mood using two-dimensional approach is more effective than using a single question (e.g., “how do you feel”). It also showed that I can drop the individual emotions from my log and use only mood dimensions to capture my emotional states. In this post, I will share results of additional analyses. Specifically, I looked if pleasure and arousal dimensions of mood can replace stress and happiness measures.

Similar to mood, I set up 10-dimensional “sliding” scale in my rTracker to log levels of stress and happiness, every day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening for the month of January. I then computed correlations between two dimensions of mood and stress and happiness scores (I used Spearman’s rank correlation):

Mood, Stress and Happiness

Mood Tracking Experiment by Measured Me: Can Two Dimensions of Mood Replace Stress and Happiness Measures?

As you can see, both stress and happiness were more correlated with the valence (pleasure) dimension of the mood. In other words, the better was my mood, the happier and less stressed I was; the more negative mood was related to less happiness and more stress. At the same time, intensity of my mood was not very predictive of neither happiness or stress. At the end, it seem like the correlations are not strong enough to drop stress and happiness measures from the log and replace them with mood metrics. This month, I added the third dimension of the mood, dominance (how much in control do I feel) to my log. In a month, we shall see if that will change anything. Stay tuned!

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One Response to Mood Tracking Experiment: Relating Mood to Stress and Happiness

  1. Sergey says:

    You know, I think there is happiness beaucse of the sad and difficult times. How could you ever compare a glad time to a sad time if there are no sad times. Many people around the world use this fact to say that both happiness and sadness are bad and cause suffering. I disagree with that thought and believe we should experience both ends of the pendulum responsibly. I agree with you, after every problem is resolved, the lack of a problem will bring happiness. All problems have solutions, or else they are not problems.

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