Quantified self fanatics are all about tracking, anything from heart rate and sleep to weight fluctuations and even sex habits. They can use different ways to record things, including journals, applications and various types of gadgets to gather data and learn from it. With the data, it is not just about aggregating the numbers, but making use of the information to achieve better health.
How can you start?
In fact, most people do some simple self-tracking daily, be it the number of glasses of water drunk to the frequency of bowel movements. If you are unsure if you would want to invest in any paid applications or devices to even begin tracking, you can simply use the good-ol pen and paper or free mobile applications downloadable from the application store.
1. Looking to improve your mental health and wellness? Track your mood. On a scale of 1 to 10, record the degree of how happy you have been feeling throughout the day, with 10 being the happiest. Or you can use the zones derived by Liz Miller, which consists of anxiety, action, depression and calm.
Mood Map by Dr Liz Miller
2. Need motivation to start or continue moving? Track your activity. You can gamify your fitness with the Ingress application. Also, most smartphones are able to track steps automatically, and if you have an iPhone, you can check out the data recorded on the Argus application. The application allows you to take and store a heart rate measurement once a day as well.
3. Getting insufficient sleep? Monitor your sleep. Start by counting the number of hours you sleep each day and see how you can squeeze out more time to catch extra sleep. It could be as easy as putting away your electronic devices half an hour before you hit the sack or drinking some warm milk; try some of them out and see which ones work best for you.
While tracking does not necessarily mean that you will be guaranteed of improved health, it can shed some light on your daily routines and how you can adjust them to improve your overall well-being. Hope this article has encouraged you to embark on your quantified self journey!
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