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On Tracking Your Feeling Tone

an image of an iphone with a screen that reads: Choose how you're feeling right now?

Apple is coming out with a tracker for your feelings. How do you feel about that?

The Health app in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, and the Mindfulness app in watchOS 10, bring an engaging and intuitive way for users to reflect on their state of mind. Users can scroll through engaging, multidimensional shapes and choose how they are feeling in a range from Very Pleasant to Very Unpleasant. Then, they can select associations that are having the biggest impact on their feelings, like Travel or Family, and describe their feelings, such as Grateful or Worried.

Aside from the issues of cognitive liberty that Nita Farahany talks about, and to be clear I don't know what will happen with the data Apple collects about your mood, here is my concern.

The Reliance on the Phone

We've got enough troubles related to the phone already. And I get that this is great for Apple, as it increases your reliance on your phone. I also get that it might help facilitate the tracking of your feeling tone, because you always have your phone with you.

But it's also increasing your "need" for the phone. I'm not a fan of that combination.

Guess what you also have easy access to OR you can set yourself up with easy access to — PAPER AND A PEN OR PENCIL.

There are studies that show writing longhand is better for the brain (e.g., memory and learning) and I personally swear by it for feelings. But let's assume the research is mixed, which it is and it depends on what you're looking at (memory, creativity, speed, etc...). What we do know, for sure, is that doing something new, although frequently difficult, is good for your brain. So if you're currently NOT journaling about your feeling tone, doing so is helpful because it is something new, and novelty sparks curiosity and learning.

Tracking Feeling Tones Via TRIPP

If you have a VR headset, check out TRIPP, which also allows you to track your feeling tone, both before and after a session (thereby instantly delivering the results of your session as a percentage improvement).

Remember that your feeling tone is with you always. It has two components. First, there's

  • Pleasant

  • Unpleasant

  • Neutral

And second, it has a level of arousal, so maybe a scale of 1-10.

In other words, at every waking moment, you're feeling pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral, and that feeling is on a spectrum from weak to strong. That's it!

Your feeling tone is what can become an emotion, depending on the circumstances, your thoughts at the time, and your memories. Those are the ingredients of emotion — your brain constructs your emotions based on them.

Here's more . . .

As Lisa Feldman Barrett says, You may not have as much control as you want to have, but you probably have more control than you think you have.

Get acquainted with your feeling tone, right now! Hit reply and tell me what it is!



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