EmoTrak and Learning Resources

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Want to Understand your Stress and Recognize Your Daily Emotions?

You can contribute to research on daily emotion awareness and stress!

As a participant, you would:

  • Receive an Emotion Tracking App developed at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.
  • Take short surveys before and after you track your emotions on stress, resilience and wellbeing.
  • Receive a report of your daily and weekly emotional experiences.

You may qualify if you: 

  • Are 18-80 years old and English speaking
  • Have an iPhone
  • Can commit to responding to texts twice a day for two weeks

Please email emotrak@ucsf.edu for more information about joining the study.


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Emotional Awareness Resources

Our emotions were designed to help us respond quickly to the world around us before we have time to think. Responding without thought or awareness can make us feel ‘hijacked’ by our emotions, we can yearn for more control. However, regulating, managing or ‘controlling’ our unwanted emotion reactions is only possible by understanding our emotions.

The Dalia Lama asked the Ekmans to build  map to understand our emotions and be able to work with them. Eve Ekman  is starting to recruit for EmoTrak, a study to bring the Atlas of Emotion in to the palms of busy residents with an emotion tracking Iphone app.

Eve’s work at the Osher Center is dedicated to increasing emotional awareness and wellbeing for residents. Despite copious evidence that residents struggle with stress and burnout and can benefit from a variety of wellness activities, the demands of resident schedules makes finding  time for interventions very challenging. With an Academy of Medical Educators Innovations in Education Grant Eve has developed a 12 hour wellbeing curriculum for residents in Family and Community the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved track in Pediatrics spread across the last year. The sessions include brief guided meditation which can be used throughout the busy day, social support and specific strategies for working with and mapping episodes of emotion. However, Eve has been eager to reach more residents with remote, online tools.

Through funding from the Resource Allocation Program Eve has built EmoTrak, an emotion tracking Iphone app for residents to both increase awareness of emotions and develop greater understanding of resident daily emptions and wellbeing. Eve piloted a web based version of the emotion tracking app last year with Psychiatry and Pediatric residents to track their emotion twice a day for 10 days. She was pleased to find that answering the simple drop down questions did not interfere with daily work duties and was surprised to find that residents reported a much wider variety of emotions than she expected. The most frequent emotion response from all 15 residents over 10 days was feeling peaceful at 20%, followed up by irritation and anxiety both at 11%. Overall 50% of all emotion responses were enjoyable emotions.

With the Atlas now live online to learn the language of emotion, Eve is eager to understand how/if daily emotion tracking can help residents and about the daily emotion triggers and experiences for residents. The current EmoTrak study aims to recruit 100 residents to track their emotions for 14 days.

I am currently recruiting residents at UCSF to participate in a pilot of EmoTrak. Once that study is complete I will be inviting people to test EmoTrak in Spring 2017.

Guided Meditations

Please enjoy my public playlists of Soundcloud guided meditations and brief dharma talks, I will be updating them monthly. There are currently a dozen 6 minute guided meditations on working with emotions, compassion and more.