Gratitude Journaling & Depression
Let's just say it clearly and not beat around the bush. No, keeping a gratitude journal will not fix your depression. However, and there is a BIG "however", it can definitely help to tip the scale towards better mental health. When you are experiencing the painful effects of depression, anything that can improve your odds of getting well should be a method to use.
A gratitude routine can be implemented into your life in many different ways. One thing, you should always do is actually handwrite the things you are grateful for as opposed to just say them in your head. The act of handwriting something involves many more neurological processes and engages your brain more fully in the process. To take this to another level, you might write in a different color each day.
And here is another way to make your gratitude journal more effective. Make yourself add one thing per day that is not at all an obvious thing to be grateful for. If you cannot think of anything, you could look at anything written and take the first noun you encounter and incorporate that into your grateful list. For example, as I am writing these words, my eyes fall on a package of AA batteries which says "high energy" on it. So, I incorporate the word "Energy" into my gratitude list by contemplating where in my life do I experience energy that I am grateful for. This kind of random word gratitude will help you shift your thinking into a positive new direction. This in turn, will further grease the wheels for better mental health.
Try it out. Start a handwritten gratitude journal today and add the random word technique for a twist.
Be well - Be creative
- Diana Shaffner