You can start to notice what is triggering youranxiety and depression that you hadn’t recognised before. And when you are feeling overwhelmed by low moods you can look back in your journal and remind yourself that you are not always this way. Things will change.
Struggle to know your feelings? Just keep trying. A surprising starts to happen – you start writing things you didn’t even realise about yourself. It can feel as if your hand knows you more than your head.
Yes, you’ve probably heard it before. But gratitude is so talked about as it really works (read our article on “How Gratitude Changes Your Mood” to learn the science behind it).
Write down five things you are grateful for daily, even if they are small things that only make sense to you.
Try to actually feel grateful as you write them. If you can’t muster any feeling, you might be writing down what you think you should be grateful for over what actually makes you feel good. Find something you connect to more.
If you have had a challenging day where you feel nothing got done, look for small things you take for granted. You got your kids to school on time, you navigated that lunch meeting with a difficult colleague, you finished the laundry.
On the days you are feeling useless, looking back at these lists can remind you how untrue this is. And it’s also found that recording what we do achieve inspires us to keep achieving.
For this journaling technique, it can help to not use your actual journal but some loose sheets (or tear some pages out).
Promise yourself you will rip up the pages afterwards – this creates a safe space for your unconscious mind to really unload.
And then go for it. Write out anything and everything you feel, even if it feels childish, crazy, or downright mean. The page doesn’t judge. And nobody is going to see it, because it all gets ripped up.
Write fast, messy, outside the lines – you don’t need to read it after.