7 Ways to Ease Depression with Writing
By Julia Sanderson
Depression makes you feel hopeless, helpless, disappointed… you name it. This is a test for your persistence, strength, and will for living. It takes superhuman efforts to overcome this state, and it definitely takes medical assistance, too. However, we cannot leave everything in the hands of the therapist. Yes; following their advice is important, but we must also make our own efforts towards healing.
Did you know that a pen is one of the most powerful weapons to fight depression? Mental health experts recommend writing as a way to identify and manage the symptoms of depression. When you write, you put yourself in direct touch with your thoughts and emotions. You can’t ignore them, so you’re getting to know yourself better. You’re becoming more aware, and that’s one of the first steps towards healing.
As with any other healing method, there’s a right way to do this, too. It’s important to approach the writing practice from the right angle. We’ll list 7 effective ways to ease depression with writing.
- Turn It into a Habit
If you want this healing method to work, you have to do it every single day. Since you only need 10-20 minutes for journaling, time mustn’t be an excuse. You can find 20 minutes for yourself, right?
You should choose a time of the day when you’re alone and undisturbed. Most people like writing before they go to bed, but you may also do it in the morning or whenever you feel like it. Just make sure to write every day. It will take some effort at the beginning, but you’ll soon turn this into a habit that’s a natural part of your day.
- Write about Anything
You don’t have to be super-inspired to start writing. Just get your notebook. If you prefer typing on a computer or a tablet, do whatever works for you. Close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath. Then, start writing. Allow your thoughts wherever they want to take you and let everything out. Don’t suppress any thoughts.
You don’t need to worry about the way this sounds. No one will read it. The point of freewriting is setting yourself free. Even if you’re writing about the most difficult things, they will start seeming more manageable once you put them on paper.
- Write about Something Positive
When you’re depressed, the negative thoughts overwhelm you. You’ll be inclined to write about negative things. That’s okay. You’re not supposed to suppress anything, so write about those thoughts and feelings. However, you should also try to balance them out.
Write about something positive every day. What are you grateful for? Have you been nice to someone today? Did you call a friend?
Try to think of few positive things every day, so you’ll know there’s balance in your life. You just need to work for the positive side to prevail.
- Write about Hope
What would you do if depression wasn’t part of your life? How would you be spending your days? Write about these things! At first, they might seem like mere fantasies. With time, you’ll start seeing them as a possibility. That shift of attitude will give you hope.
Hope is a starting point in the healing process. When you start believing that you can get better, you will!
Write about anything! Whatever comes out is okay. If you don’t plan to publish this, you don’t even have to worry about grammar. Just write in a way you can understand.
Revisions, however, will still be necessary. We’re not talking about the type of revisions that writers usually make before publishing. We’re referring to reading what you wrote and thinking about it. Did you use the right words to describe your condition? What does reading about it make you feel? Recognize those emotions and face them.
- Turn It into a Blog
You’d be surprised to see how supportive the online community can be. Millions of people from all around the world are depressed. They are going through the same thing. You can all support each other if you only share your journey towards healing.
Blogging is easy; you can do it for free. You can stay anonymous if you prefer. You should just write well, so other people will understand your point and will feel compelled to engage with your words. If you lack confidence, you may get help from professional writers and editors. They will help you share your message.
- Observe Your Progress
This is a journey. You’ll go through ups and downs. When you combine writing with other healing methods (therapy, yoga, healthy food…), you will start walking towards improvement. The journal or blog will witness that progress.
Read your older entries from time to time. You’ll notice you’re getting better at expressing your thoughts and feelings. That’s an improvement by itself. Carry on!
So how are you feeling today? Why don’t you just write about it? It will be difficult at first. However, you’ll come to the point when you feel the huge relief the writing method provides. That relief is certainly worth the effort!