Journaling allows people to freely write down their thoughts and feelings without the fear of being judged. Keeping a journal can help anyone get in control of their emotions and improve their mental health. For people living with depression, learning how to cope with each day is a struggle. There are many forms of therapy that can teach healthy habits to improve mental well-being. One overlooked method is journaling. This simple, private act has several benefits on mental health. Explore what journaling is and find out three benefits of journaling for depression.
How to journal
There is no right or wrong way to journal, but there are some practices to keep in mind to get the most effective benefits. Be consistent with writing by journaling with the same frequency at the same time of day. When it comes to depression, journaling serves as positive self-talk and can show if there are certain times of day when someone feels down.
Don’t worry about structure when it comes to journaling; simply write down what comes to mind. Always have a pen and paper handy in case something comes up that needs to be expressed. While it’s good to stay consistent, journaling is not meant to feel restrictive.
An alternative to writing is photo-journaling. Sharing photos and looking back on positive memories is a wonderful coping mechanism to reduce negative thoughts. Meet ibi is a personal cloud that allows anyone to collect, find, and privately share their photos. With one terabyte of storage space, easily share private, intimate memories with friends and loved ones, or use the app to keep an organized collection of personal photos to look back on.
The benefits of journaling
There are several benefits that come with journaling. Below are three positive outcomes that come from consistently logging thoughts:
Clarify thoughts and feelings. Keeping track of thoughts is a great way to notice triggers that lead to negative thinking. Noticing patterns of thinking can help someone learn to cope with triggers in a healthier and more productive way. Understanding mood patterns is one of many steps to learning how to manage depression.
Know yourself better. The more someone writes down what goes through their mind, the more they learn about what makes them happy and confident. Reflecting on situations that occurred throughout the day can help a person see things more clearly and learn better coping mechanisms. It can also help identify negative or toxic people who are best to avoid to achieve mental well-being.
Journaling doesn’t have to be focused on just negative thoughts and events. Include positive memories as well; taking the bad with the good can help someone discover their inner voice.
Reduce stress. Everyone experiences anger, sadness, and pain but not everyone feels comfortable expressing these feelings. Writing about these emotions can release negativity and reduce stress. Staying in a constant negative state interrupts and hinders someone from living in the present moment. Perhaps an underlying problem is causing stress; creative thinking can lead to more effective conflict resolution than analytical thinking.
Unfortunately, the struggle of living with depression cannot always be met with self-help. Some people turn to substances to escape from reality and find temporary relief. Canadian Centre for Addictions is a private, upscale Toronto drug rehab that treats both Canadians and Americans. They offer group therapy, individual counseling, and family support counseling to help patients beat addiction and live full, healthy lives.
Understanding triggers and learning how to cope with them, prioritizing fears and stressors, and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors are all strides towards living with depression.