As I have recovered from severe depression, one of the tools that has helped me the most is journaling.
A research study at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia has shown that writing about problems and possible solutions to them can improve not only your psychological health, but your physical health as well.
James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. writes in his book Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, “People who write about emotional topics are able to put them into some kind of perspective. This allows them to see what is affecting them and why.”
Personally, journaling helps me to sort through my thoughts and bring clarity to the confused jumble of stuff in my head. It allows me to express my emotions without hurting those closest to me. I can work through my feelings ahead of time so that when I talk to that person we can work on the actual problem, not simply have an argument.
I also enjoy looking back over my past writing. I laugh when I read about worries that never happened and I feel encouraged when I realize that I am not in the same place that I was, that I have made progress.
If you’d like to try journaling, read my post here for some ideas to get started.