Stories on Depression: How Journaling Helped Me Overcome Mental Health Issues

Journaling is a practice of keeping a diary or journal which explores thoughts and feelings concerning events of your life.

In my teenage years, I kept a diary to help me keep track of things happening in my life just so I could have a word album to help me reminisce. This went on and on until I started transitioning to adulthood. In my opinion, keeping a diary seemed childish, an old habit i needed to do away with, little did I know the storm coming my way. As a teenager, I had no clue what depression was or the kind of effect it had on people that didn’t act upon it immediately.

At once I put the diary chapter behind me. “That was easy!” I told my self as weeks passed by.

As the weeks passed by, my mind had slowly transformed into a memory bank filled with mixed thoughts, conclusions, and drama based on everything I was going through as a young teenager.

My mental health was at war with society and thoughts, remember I had never heard of such things like depression, anxiety or stress. This was a whole new sad place in my life. I didn’t know what I was going through or how to go about it. I always kept to myself and it was always me and my diary against the world. So just like any teenager, I visited the internet to look up these symptoms. With the help of a number of quotes, articles, and videos, I learned about mental health and furthermore, I discovered what depression and anxiety that’s unattended to can do to young people.

I went on to look for the viable solutions to help me combat these symptoms i was at war with. This is when i stumbled upon an article titled, The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management. “Huh! Journaling, really?” i questioned myself as i went on to read.

I learnt that, Journaling, as a stressmanagement and self-exploration tool, works best when done consistently, but even occasional, sporadic journaling can be stress relieving when the practice is focused on gratitude or emotional processing. One of the most effective ways to reduce stress with journaling is to write in detail about feelings and thoughts related to stressful events, as one would discuss topics in therapy, and brainstorm solutions, but there are several different ways to practice journaling.

Having lost control of my thoughts and emotions to stressful events, my life had turned into this stagnant pile of sadness and low self-esteem. This was the cause of my many anxiety attacks and depression phases.

This is when i decided to get back on track with Journaling, I decided to take on this solution at a much bigger scale by starting a blog and writing about my routines and life stories. I didn’t disclose off the very personal parts but kept this in my diary. I had to put all this in writing, and trust me. In a matter of days, i was back on track. “Don’t believe me, try it out today.”

Journaling helped me better my mental health by:

  • Showing me how to prioritize my fears and concerns.
  • Tracking any day to day triggers of depression and learning ways to control them
  • Availing a 360 dimension of positive self-talk and identifying negative behavior and thoughts.

There’s no specific method for journaling but here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Write every day; Set off a few minutes each day and write in your journal. Schedules tend to be tight but healing starts with you literally starting.
  • Use your journal as you see fit; some people like to share their journeys but if you are not comfortable then keep it confidential, what matters most is your progress.
  • Keep it simple; in the beginning I focused a lot on what book and pen I should use and honestly there was no writing done. Start with what you have because as you progress the journaling essentials come naturally to you.
  • Write anything and everything; do not be picky on what you write, it’s your journal and you are in charge of whatever you put down on paper.

It’s safe to say journaling has helped me get my mental health in check because I do not look at it as medication but rather my relaxation time. I always look forward to it and am always eager to know whether I moved two steps ahead or back, my thoughts or innermost fears and more. Choose a comfortable place and favorable time let loose and pour your heart out, look at it as a reward for a better mind, body and you.

Story by Anonnymous


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