Depression Help:
Journal for Depression

I've read many articles that suggest to journal for depression, and I can agree to some extent to the advice. But unless you do journal the right way, journaling can be counterproductive to depression.

Does Journaling Help Depression?

When people journal for depression, they tend to write about all the negative stuff that happens in their lives. The assumption is that the negative feelings will leave them and go onto the paper (actually this is partly correct).

They write such things as the bad relationships with their spouse, the troubles at work, the financial troubles they may be going through, and any other issue that causes them anxiety and worry.

When depressed people review their journal days later, they'll find all that negativity that they've had in the past. If someone is still depressed these notes can fuel feelings of worthlessness and that there's no escape.

The self-talk says, "there is no end. Life has been awful, and life continues to be bad."

Depression tends to continue, and they can even feel discouraged to continue a journal.

Done the right way, and following the depression self help program, a journal for depression can have wonderful benefits, and help end depression.

Some of the benefits of journaling for depression are:

  • An Outlet For Your Feelings. Many times we just need to let our thoughts and emotions out.

    Although talking to a trusted friend or relative is the best way to do this, sometimes we feel too emotional or self aware of our extreme emotions to be able to share with others.

    A journal for depression is a great alternative. Many times we are not even sure why we are feeling down, hurt, or anxious, but writing things down forces us to find the underlying reasons.
  • A Great Reference To Problem Solve. Writing down the underlying issues can be a great tool to problem solve the issue in the future.

    When we journal for depression, we identify the issue that truly bothers us, and the better apt we'll be to solve that very problem.

    We can use what we write to have a problem solving session described in "pocket your worries" to problem solve the issue. This way you can pinpoint the exact issue and solve the situation or decide to let it go all together.
  • Keeping A Log Of Your Feelings. This is particularly useful if you are seeing or changing counselors. You can journal for depression as a reference to describe your feelings exactly as they happened.

    Sometimes during counseling meetings one can forget what the issues have been for the week. For example, if you have relationship troubles, but your counseling appointment is just after work, you may have trouble switching gears, and remember exactly what were the details of your struggles in the relationship that week.

Keeping a journal for depression can be a very positive and useful tool. It is important that the journal be adjusted a bit to reap the benefits. I personally have notebooks full of angry, sorrowful and all kinds of other feelings jotted down. This never helped me in any way. It only makes you feel worse.

When journaling you can spiral away in the same way you spiral in your thoughts. Instead keep it simple, and let your thoughts and emotions free flow.

How To Use A Journal As A Way To End Depression
  • Write As If You Were Writing To Your Trusted Friend. Visualize talking face to face to your close and trusted friend or family member, who listens empathetically and without judgment. You tell them everything, but you would also restrict the useless spiral of negativity.

    When we talk to somebody, we tend to explain with more efficiency. We tell them everything we feel and think about the issue, but we safe ourselves the rambling and rumination of negative thoughts. 

    Writing to the point can better pinpoint the root of the problem. When sticking to the point you can best see the issue that bothers you without the extra added confusion of emotionally charged ramblings.
  • Begin With Writing Three Things You Are Grateful For. This has the virtue of interrupting the self-centeredness that depression tends to provide.

    When depressed, we tend to be self absorbed in our own sad life, making it very hard to see anything positive. The negativity in itself serves itself for more negativity.

    Writing three things you are grateful for forces your mind to brainstorm in something positive, and makes the mind acknowledge that there are still enjoyable things in life. This also helps give a little shove on the mind that there could be positive ways of thinking about things.
  • Record Specific Problems Into Your "Pocket Your Worries" List. If there is something that causes you anxiety or worry, record it on your separate sheet of paper with the list of your worries, so you can let it go for your scheduled worry time.
  • Thank Your Diary For Listening. A quick thank you note suffices. This accomplishes two things: Self respect, and respect for what you have shared on your diary.

    The thoughts and emotions are true and real, and your diary is a real outlet, and a friend so-to-speak that can always be there to receive all your feelings empathetically. This also helps you get a feeling of closure with your diary and can continue with the rest of the day.

Journaling can be a very useful tool for your depression self help. Journal when you want and need to. Journaling is like having a dog. You have a trusted friend that is always there for you, and listens to you.

Journal daily if you can, but at least weekly, and whenever you have the urge to express those feelings.

Journaling, the right way, plus following the other list of depression help tools will end your depression and let you enjoy life to the fullest again.

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