5 Ways a Journal Can Help Heal Your Depression
There is a wide range of depressive mental health disorders, including bi-polar, major depression, and anxiety. Recent studies have shown that about 30% of women are reportedly depressed. At one time, depression among the male population was said to be about half that number, but recently depression among men is rising even more.
Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects many more people than just those who are depressed. It also affects family, friends, colleagues, etc. When untreated, depression can become overwhelming and frustrating. It wreaks havoc on its victims and is debilitating even.
If you are suffering from depression, there are things you can do to enhance your medical treatment. Along with prescribed treatment from your physician, journaling is one such thing that can help heal your depression.
1. A journal is a safe place to release your thoughts and emotions. Journaling helps you to release pent-up thoughts, emotions, and feelings. One of the worst things to do if you are depressed is to bottle up all these things. Keeping your thoughts and feelings inside is a recipe for mental disaster. Writing about them in your journal can help you release them and move forward.
2. A journal makes you stop and take a good look at yourself. If you have an overly pessimistic attitude, which feeds into depression, you will be able to spot it in very little time. Reflecting on previous journal entries, you’ll begin to notice familiar threads of doubt, mistrust, and hopelessness. When you spot and pinpoint these negative thought processes, you can then begin to work on changing them. This is an important step in healing your depression because your mental thought process has a huge impact on your bouts of depression.
3. A journal gives you sacred space to “be.” Sometimes you just need a place where you can vent your thoughts and feelings without using words. A journal doesn’t necessarily have to be filled with your written thoughts. You can use your journal to express yourself with paints, drawings, collages, etc.
4. A journal shows your progress (or lack thereof). One good thing about a journal is that it is a record of your days. When you are consistent, you will be able to reflect back later on your condition and see how you’ve improved. Likewise, you can pick up on areas that still need some work (negative attitude, dashed hopes, low spirits, etc.).
5. A journal helps you get a handle on your mental status. Another great thing about journaling your way through depression is that you can literally track your mental status by reading back through your entries. After writing for some time, you can go back through your journal and track all your ups and downs. This will help you to predict your mental lows, so that you can be better prepared in how to handle them. Wait at least 2-3 months before you try to do this, though.
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