This week, we welcomed Dr Heather Bolton to the Unmind team. I asked her a few questions to help us get to know her a little better.
Doing a Check-In on Unmind may only take a few seconds to complete, but if you use it everyday it is going to give you a wealth of information that will help you understand yourself better.
Now, it’s natural to think that looking back through memories is enough to give us an accurate view of ourselves and the past, but interestingly, the academic research suggests otherwise . It turns out that holding biases about ourselves and our lives is a normal part of being human – mental short-cuts that don’t always serve us well. These unconscious biases can mean we unknowingly distort ‘facts’ that inform our future thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They can, for example, lead to someone thinking that they always fail, when in fact there may be many instances from their past that don’t support this belief. This is where our Check-In comes in…
If you take a few seconds each day to accurately record how you are feeling, as well as any noteworthy thoughts about your day, you will have valid information to help guide your perception of things. You will be able to spot patterns, see trends and habits in your behaviour, and understand which interventions (like the exercises in our Toolbox) help to improve your feelings.
As with everything on Unmind, our Check-In is based on sound psychological evidence and research. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy shows us that recording and reflecting on feelings and behaviours helps raise emotional self-awareness , which in turn, allows us to regulate our emotions more easily when we need to. This can mean less impact from stress and anxiety, helping us to be our best selves in our personal and professional lives. Additionally, developing the habit of regular Check-Ins improves our self-monitoring  – an important component of successful behaviour change.
So before your recall bias kicks in, take a few seconds to Check-In and reflect on how you’re feeling after reading this blog post!
 Shiffman S, Stone AA, Hufford MR. Ecological momentary assessment. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2008;4:1–32.  Kauer SD, Reid SC, Crooke Alexander Hew Dale. Khor A, Hearps Stephen John Charles. Jorm AF, Sanci L, Patton G. Self-monitoring using mobile phones in the early stages of adolescent depression: Randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res. 2012;14(3):e67. Cohen JS, Edmunds JM, Brodman DM, Benjamin CL, Kendall PC. Using self-monitoring: Implementation of collaborative empiricism in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cogn Behav Prac. 2013 Nov;20(4):419–428.
Jonny Benjamin was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at the age of 20 and he is now an influential activist and mental health...