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Do You Keep A Journal And Does It Help?


aloneandunhappy

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I've been writing my thoughts in a journal for about a year now but honestly I don't know if it's helping. I feel like it's just reliving a lot of misery writing this stuff down and when I go back and look at what I wrote it's very depressing.

Just wondering if others keep a journal and if it helps them, what are they doing differently?

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I've been writing my thoughts in a journal for about a year now but honestly I don't know if it's helping. I feel like it's just reliving a lot of misery writing this stuff down. when I go back and look at what I wrote it's very depressing.

Just wondering if others keep a journal and if it helps them, what are you doing differently?

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i also like to keep a journal and like you, when i read back everything i wrote it all looks very bleak and depressing.

but i feel like it really helps writing my thoughts down,it feels really good expressing my emotions in writing and it helps to gather my thoughts a little and i always find myself feeling a little better after writing.

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I have a journal where I write events like this day I did this or that. It ony has a couple lines per date and is a 10-year journal. I update about once a month. It helps me remember when things happened in life. No feelings, more or less like keeping a copy of a day calendar.

As for detailed writings, reading them just drags you through it all over again. The writing process is really good to help you think. However, it is just fine to write, read it over, think about it and understand yourself through it, then rip it to shreds and throw out. You don't move on by going over it again and again.

Probably the best thing to do is make your writing and re-read it. Then rip that page out of the notebook and tear it up and re-write a positive way the event or emotion could have been instead, a positive goal you have for the future, or a positive sentiment about yourself and/or others and leave that page in where you can review it. Destroy the negative, keep only positive.

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I don't personally keep a journal, but a few of my friends do. My girlfriend keeps a journal and it helps her a lot. She writes a minimum of once a week about everything, good bad, happy, sad, etc. Although I do not keep one, I do write songs and poems. I like to write those because it expresses the feeling and lets you put the emotion into it that I personally don't feel in journal writing. I do understand what you mean by reliving a lot of misery, so maybe song writing and poetry writing would be nice for you. You can express the emotion without reliving the events.

Hope this helps

Gamers

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I used to keep a journal, and it really helped me. But then my family got ahold of it and read everything, and then they were like, "intervention time," so I stopped writing in fear of them ever finding it again.

But for me it was either journal or self harm, those were my two options that I gave myself. I always tried to choose journaling.

Edited by j02
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I wrote a journal for several years while going thru intensive CBT and EBT it was very helpful in helping me learn triggers for my Depression. I also was able to learn many coping skills and put them into practice.

I really believe journaling will help especially when going thru the bad times, Helps one to focus.

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I used to keep a journal in my teens, but it was more of an outlet for my toxic feelings rather than a way to document the phase of life I was living then. (j02: How would you feel about keeping a password protected journal on your computer, in order to prevent your family from accessing it? I personally think them reading your journal was a violation of your right to privacy, though.)

Nonetheless, a couple of weeks ago I started keeping a "gratitude journal", meaning I'm trying to list things I'm grateful for more or less every day. It has been quite a challenge, since my journaling has always been focusing on the negative, but I've noticed listing the reasons for being grateful has a distinct positive effect on my mood. I've got the tendency to dwell on past mistakes and the bad aspects of my life, so I think a little bit of re-programming my mind will be nothing but healthy.

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I've been writing my thoughts in a journal for about a year now but honestly I don't know if it's helping. I feel like it's just reliving a lot of misery writing this stuff down. when I go back and look at what I wrote it's very depressing.

Just wondering if others keep a journal and if it helps them, what are you doing differently?

Yes....I used to do this, but stopped when I got married as I didn't feel as comfortable with writing about issues that didn't solely pertain to me and to my perception of the world. I had a LiveJournal account 12 years ago and it helped me a lot. I met quite a few good people through my posts, most of whom I lost contact with. It's something I plan on doing again, even though I may keep it personal for the time being.

If you enjoy writing (as I do), it is one way of channeling negative feelings into something tangible. For me, it was better than doing as I am doing now, which is allowing negative thoughts to just spin around inside my head with no outlet. If anything, I tend to dwell more on negative thoughts if I have no outlet to channel them or no distractions.

Different strokes for different folks though. If you find that it's making you dwell on your misery, why not try something else like writing poetry or prose?

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I use to think it would but I never would last for more than a few posts in one before I started using the journal for a sketch book or something.

So no, it didn't help.......but it does from some people so try it.

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I keep journals, but they have no rules for them. I have personal musings mixed in with short excerpts from library books, mixed with drawings, pictures, gratitude entries, the works.

I also keep more than one journal at a time. There's something about writing in one book from start to finish and staying on all the lines that makes me rebellious, so I don't even try. Right now I have four different journals with writing in them. Sometimes I write upside down if I want. I have a pen fetish, so I have plenty of colors to write in, which I love.

For me, it's also a way to communicate with alters. I have DID (multiple personality) and have had for a long time. Different alters write in the book and I can recognize handwriting, or else someone says it's them but another alter wrote it in there for them. I find that very useful.

Equally useful is when I've outgrown certain things. I have torn pages out and burned them. It's an excellent release besides self harming, which I have also been prone to do. It's much more therapeutic to (safely) burn paper than to cut myself.

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j02 - I am sorry for the invasion of your privacy. My mother always went through my things until I moved out at age 23. I hated her for it. Still do. She would open my mail too and constantly barge into the bathroom if the door was closed. I was a kid who never caused any trouble, never got into an trouble, straight A student, never tried drugs. She was just sick. I choose not to have any relationship with her for this and many other reasons.

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I've kept a diary for years but I don't think it has helped me to beat depression. I update every day when I can and it is quite detailed so it is a good record of events and how I was feeling at the time. It does have a heavy, negative bias though and sometimes I get embarrassed reading it back because it is so full of anger and depression. Is that really me? Unfortunately, yes!

That said I always encourage people to keep journals. Life is precious no matter what and I think it is important for people to record their own journey. I do also have many happy memories in mine and it has been invaluable over the years to remember dates, times and facts. It's amazing how much is forgotten over the years and how much gets skewed in memory. I like keeping a diary as a permanent record of the good and bad.

Edited by bonkersinthenut
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I've been keeping a journal since last year. In it is a lot of stress, depression, and anxiety. I tend to ruminate on things and coming from that perspective, the journal has not been all that helpful. I just use it mostly to record my thoughts, sort things out, and plan and keep track of goals.

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I've kept a couple of online journals when I was in my late teens early twenties. Maybe they're still there, I don't know. I guess like anything there are multiple possibilities and outlook at the time is the most important factor. I often used to find myself reading back over stuff I'd written a couple of years beforehand, remembering this crush I had for a fortnight, how something I'd consider trivial as my 24 year old self would be a disaster for my 21 year old self etc. I read it and I laughed. I laughed because I found it ridiculous and cringe worthy, I was embarrassed. Nostalgia's a funny thing, I do tend to look at the past through rose tinted glasses and I think that's probably a two way thing too. I think I feel worse today than I did a decade ago, but it'd stand to reason to think that when you're looking back through rose tinted glasses, wouldn't it? Either way, being able to laugh at myself is one of my favourite coping mechanisms. It's priceless, and it gives me hope that one day I'll be able to look back at today confidently from the other side and laugh. Even if I don't feel any different in the today of ten years in the future, I'll probably think 2013 was a good year.

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I've been keeping a journal since last year. In it is a lot of stress, depression, and anxiety. I tend to ruminate on things and coming from that perspective, the journal has not been all that helpful. I just use it mostly to record my thoughts, sort things out, and plan and keep track of goals.

I can relate to tending to ruminate on things. That's my concern - am I doing myself more harm than good by ruminating on negative events in my life? It seems like it's just a place to complain, a giant pity, poor me, victim book. How do I journal positively to elicit change in my life?

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I tried keeping a journal but it actually made me feel more depressed (ironically enough) because I felt like I reached no positive goal doing it. To me, it augmented the feeling of loneliness (something I currently struggle with) because the things I write (feelings, events, etc) are things i'd rather share with a friend like I used to. I don't like it when my feelings go nowhere and that's how it felt when I had a journal.

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Have kept one on and off through my life, mostly during the worst times. Don't currently despite things being bad because it just seems as pointless as everything else. All I've really gotten from keeping one is being able to look back and see other times when I felt just as bad and had a lot of the same thoughts.

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For ages I've been wanting to keep a sort of positive, motivational, inspirational journal.

Just put in any sort of paintings or sketches or photos I've taken, along with any poems or short stories, pressed flowers, things like this I am sure will help uplift me.

I guess like a kind of scrapbook more than a strict journal, but I'd like to include all positive things that have happened to me to help keep me feeling good.

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I try to keep a journal of my symptoms, meds, emotions, sleep patterns, etc. but I find it very triggering when I am feeling well. In this recent depression I have been journalling more than ever but I can't bear to look at it on the good days...

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I've been writing my thoughts in a journal for about a year now but honestly I don't know if it's helping. I feel like it's just reliving a lot of misery writing this stuff down and when I go back and look at what I wrote it's very depressing.

Just wondering if others keep a journal and if it helps them, what are they doing differently?

Yes I write my thoughts in a journal as well and I think it helps. I feel like my therapist has saved my life, but I can't see him everyday, so on the days that I am really stressed out and need someone to hear me out, I write on my journal. I just feel like getting my thoughts out helps..

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