Have you felt yourself slipping backward into depression? Or maybe you said something awkward to your coworker and you’ve spent the entire day dwelling on it.
Depression and anxiety seem to creep up at any given time and can put a dark cloud over your head for hours, days, weeks, or even months. So, what can you do to keep your mental health in-check?
Well, attending regular counseling sessions is a great start. Journaling for depression and anxiety is also an amazing technique to take control of your mental health on a daily basis.
Do you need some ideas to get started? Keep reading to learn how you can journal for your mental health.
Write Your Thoughts
When you hear the word “journal” the first thing that probably comes to your mind is writing your feelings. And that is a huge part of it.
Negative things are bound to happen from time to time. But when you struggle with depression and anxiety these situations can become overblown and wreak havoc on your mental health.
Venting to friends and family members is a great way to let your emotions out and seek advice. However, there are a few possible downfalls. They may not always be available to talk, they may give poor advice, or you may fear that they’ll judge you.
But holding in or ignoring all those emotions isn’t good for you. Not only can it increase your stress and depression, but it can also manifest in physical problems, such as heart disease if left bottled up for too long.
Journaling is a good way to let all your emotions out until your next counseling session. You don’t have to worry about how you word things or if what you’re saying makes sense. Your journal is the perfect confidant that will keep all your secrets and is always there for you to vent to.
List 5 Positives Everyday
When your depression or anxiety starts to take over, your mind will likely be swarming with negative thoughts about yourself and your life. These thoughts can make you feel even worse in the moment and affect your self-confidence over time.
Listing 5 positive aspects of your life is a great way to build that confidence back and battle feelings of depression. Set aside a spot in your journal and strive to think of 5 different positives every day instead of repeating the same ones.
Create a Bullet Journal
While writing down your thoughts and feelings is an important part of journaling for mental health, there is a way you can take this one step further.
Your body is one unit, and thus, your physical and mental health can affect one another. Maintaining a proper diet and exercise plan is important in keeping a healthy mind.
In fact, you can reduce depression symptoms by spending just 30 minutes a day, three times a week partaking in a moderate-intensity workout and increasing your intake of vitamins B-3 and B-12.
But when you live a hectic life, it can be hard to remember if you’ve met your diet and exercise goals throughout the week. This is where a bullet journal comes in handy.
You can create easy-to-use checklists and charts to fill in at the end of each day. Not only will you be more likely to meet your goals when you hold yourself accountable, but you’ll feel physically and mentally great once you start a diet and exercise plan.
Track Your Daily Mood
Of course, you can track more than just your meals and workouts. When journaling for mental health, it’s a good idea to track your mood.
There are a few ways you can go about this. You can create a bar graph with dates along the bottom and moods (depressed, sad, okay, happy, amazing) going up the side. Then, draw your bar at the end of each night to show how you felt.
You can also track with colors to include more emotions. Create a block chart with 12 blocks across the top (one for each month) and 31 blocks down the side (one for each day). Then make a key with what various colors symbolize, such as stressed, anxious, depressed, happy, energetic, etc., and shade in each day with the appropriate color.
You can look back and easily see how well you’re managing your mental health.
Write Down Possible Triggers
Tracking your emotions is a great first step. But if you’re dedicated to improving your mood, you’ll also need to think about what caused those bad days.
Set aside some room next to your mood tracker to write down possible triggers. Once you start identifying what is causing your negative emotions, you can learn how to manage these feelings, so your bad mood doesn’t stick around all day.
Review Past Entries
Have you ever thought back to where you were a few months or years ago and felt proud of everything you’ve accomplished since? When you’re feeling down, try to read a few past entries.
You can see just how far you’ve come and all the obstacles you’ve overcome. Remembering all the goals you’ve reached and how much better your mental health is will make you feel proud and help you overcome whatever you’re currently facing.
Why You Should Try Journaling for Depression
If you struggle with depression or anxiety, it’s important to focus on your mental health every day. Journaling is a great exercise to let your emotions out and track your mood.
Just follow our tips when journaling for depression to make the most out of this daily activity.
Do you want to start seeing a counselor to help overcome your feelings of depression or anxiety? Check out our list of locations and give us a call to set up an appointment today.
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