If you have ever experienced depression, you may feel worried, sad, or listless. Your mind may race with negative thoughts. Perhaps you just feel like you are in a fog, confused and directionless as you go about your daily activities.
The stronger depression becomes, the less motivation you may feel to engage in your life. You may not want to do anything or make any effort. The sense of joy or wonder can feel missing from your life.
One way to overcome depression is through journaling. Starting a journaling practice can provide short term relief and a long term solution.
EXPLORING NEGATIVE INFLUENCES
By putting pen to paper, you may be able to root through some of your emotions to get to the heart of your negative feelings. By seeing how they start, negative feelings can come to light. Once they are seen for what they are, healing can begin.
To identify negative influences contributing to your depression, journal every day. After a few weeks, look back over what you have written to see if you can identify any patterns of thought, events or people that may be affecting you.
By seeing them clearly, you can use journaling to work through these experiences and your related thoughts about them. This can help you move towards a more positive viewpoint. Healing can begin, and you can also support this healing by writing your positive thoughts about your process through your depression.
Noticing any gratitude and notating it in your journal will also help to build new patterns of thought. Gratitude is a joyful emotion that can start out in a subtle way during depression. By looking for reasons to feel grateful, you will start fostering more positive thoughts.
Sometimes depression occurs because goals become unclear. Journaling can be good for setting goals and giving yourself a new purpose in life.
To set goals, start small. Make sure your goals are challenging but still achievable. Keep timelines short, such as giving yourself a goal to achieve by the end of the day, or before the end of the week. As you build upon your successes, you will start to feel a sense of accomplishment.
For goal setting through journaling while experiencing depression, make sure you review your goals often and celebrate them in your journal when you have achieved each one.
NOTICING PATTERNS IN DEPRESSION TRIGGERS
A helpful way to use journaling for your depression is to use it to find your triggers. For example, you may notice that your depression is not necessarily related to negativity.
By looking at the patterns in your life through journaling, you may notice that you feel fine for a while before experiencing negative emotions. Seeing what preceded the negative emotions may give you some insight into relationships, habits, or experiences that do not currently serve you well.
You can combine these journaling techniques or just use one or two to learn what works for you. Journaling is about working through issues, not about expressing yourself perfectly.
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