Hacking into Wellness: Trigger Tracker Journaling

By tracking the symptoms of a particular problem and being proactive in your health journey, you can have more productive conversations with medical professionals, which can lead to better health outcomes.

Hacking into Wellness: Trigger Tracker Journaling
Photo by Prophsee Journals / Unsplash

Hello Fellow Journalers!๐Ÿ–Š๏ธ๐Ÿ“–

Today, let's go over Trigger Tracker Journaling.

I can personally attest that trigger tracking is hands down the best thing I did for myself. Medical infrastructure is dependent upon human ingenuity and hubris. Not all medical professionals are as dedicated or up to date on the latest data, and even with the most hard-working Dr. Sherlock, medical conditions can evade diagnosis and treatment.

By tracking the symptoms of a particular problem and being proactive in your health journey, you can have more productive conversations with medical professionals, which can lead to better health outcomes.

How can tracking triggers be beneficial

Thankfully, there is research that actually backs up the usefulness of trigger tracking. In 2017, there was a study that proved monitoring moods can be helpful when identifying negative emotions. By developing self-awareness of negative moods, this helps one become more proactive in self-care and management of their emotional state. (1)

flat lane photo of book and highlighters
Photo by Estรฉe Janssens / Unsplash

Health diaries have long been recommended by medical professionals. Writing down home blood pressure readings, weight gain and loss, and sleep are common diaries to take and bring to medical appointments. They have been proven to help bring self-regulation when it comes to home habits. (2)

Overall, the idea is self-awareness can lead to self-regulation, regardless of what is being tracked.

What to Track

Don't know what you would track? I have compiled some ideas below, and I acknowledge it isn't an all-encompassing list.


Blood Pressure


Pain (e.g. headaches)

Sensation Loss

Vision Changes

Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

Breathing Problems

Passing Out









Panic Attacks




OCD Rituals

PTSD Responses

Mood Swings

Highs and Lows





Water Intake



Screen Use

Keep in mind the above categories bleed into one another and can be interconnected depending on the medical ailment you are overcoming in your health journey.

Layouts of Trigger Tracking

The most common layout for trigger trackers is by time. However, the frequency of the symptom best determines the type of layout. Do you experience undesirable symptoms multiple times a day? Perhaps an hourly planner is best, where time slots can be used to write triggers.

person holding Kodak camera
Photo by Subham Swain / Unsplash

Besides frequency, take into account other variables such as severity or quality. You can use a 1 to 10 pain scale and write down different quality of sensations.

Another useful strategy can be creating visually appealing layout. Investing time creating something interesting and valuable can layer and anchor the habit of using the trigger tracking journal.

Did you find this post helpful? Subscribe and comment below!

Before you go, have you heard? I launched my first published work called Reframe the Sabotage: A Transformation Journal! It's available on Amazon, in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

I'm looking forward to connecting with you on our next journaling conversation.

-A Very Enthusiastic Journaler

P.S. If you've made it this far, please consider signing up for the monthly 311 newsletter. Want a preview? Head here.

Stay connected with me on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.

Follow and Review on Amazon, GoodReads, and StoryGraph.

Share and See all my social channels.

P.P.S. Are you a creator, blogger, writer, or just want to collaborate? Head here.


  1. Van den Berg, S., Luteijn, M., & Hooley, J. M. (2017). Monitoring mood to manage mood: A meta-analysis of ambulatory assessment phone interventions for depression and anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(1), 10.
  2. Christensen, H., & Mackintosh, J. B. (1995). Self-regulation in health promotion: The role of self-monitoring. Patient Education and Counseling, 26(1-2), 177-186.