Anxiety and depression are two debilitating disorders. Both can be situational, or they can be chronic, affecting their victims their entire lives.
There are several ways to treat depression and anxiety, including medication, exercise, and talk therapy. Another way to treat them is by journaling.
Journaling is an effective way to help with anxiety and depression for many people. Let’s take a closer look into what this could look like for you:
WHAT IS JOURNALING?
You may have kept a journal when you were younger where you wrote your thoughts for the day, or perhaps your crush. You might’ve even written down what you wanted your future to look like.
Journaling for anxiety and depression is essentially the same. It can be structured or very freeing, but when you journal, you write your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about life.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF JOURNALING?
Journaling helps you to monitor, reflect, and prepare. When you are journaling, you will notice patterns in your thinking and uncover your thoughts around specific activities. Here are a few of the ways journaling can help:
- It organizes your thoughts: Journaling is a catch-all for your thoughts. Writing them helps you notice triggers and uncover sources of anxiety. It’s a tool to collect and share your thoughts and can act as a buffer if you’re uncomfortable sharing with another person.
- It’s a preparation tool: Journaling tracks patterns in your mental health. Anxiety and depression are often cyclical, and having a journal to refer to can help you discover times of the year or events that are triggering. You’re able to prepare for those moments effectively.
- It provides structure: Having control over parts of your life is incredibly helpful in fighting anxiety and depression. Journaling is one way to have structure and control.
There are several more benefits to journaling that you’ll uncover as you try it.
IS THERE A WRONG WAY TO JOURNAL?
There isn’t a wrong way to journal, per se, but some tips can help make your journaling more effective, especially if you are further along in your journey.
It’s good to begin by simply writing down your feelings through freewriting when you’re starting. Doing so helps you get comfortable with the idea and practice. As you do it more, though, recognize what’s most helpful, and try to stick to a procedure.
Whether it be a structured narrative of your day or a list of what you’re anxious about and what you’re grateful for, find a groove that takes the thought out of journaling so you can fully reap the benefits and don’t waste mental energy on thinking about what to write.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line? Journaling is an excellent self-care strategy. If you question the efficacy of journaling to ease anxiety and depression, start doing it and see how you feel. Even just one journaling session can help!
Journaling is a great way to release the negative emotions you’ve been feeling and find a positive state of mind.