Writing cannot cure your depression, but it absolutely can be a tool to give you relief from it. Writing can be therapeutic, simply getting your thoughts out on paper can help you look at them in a different light. Looking at them on the page, you might realize that you didn’t really feel that way. Or maybe you did, but you don’t want to feel that way anymore. Revise your writing and begin to revise the way you look at your feelings. Let’s look at how writing can ease your depression.
Revise your narrative
Writing down your thoughts on a page can be therapeutic, but it doesn’t end there. Look over what you’ve written and ask yourself questions such as ‘Is this the direction I want to be going?’ and ‘Have I been honest here?’ If you’re having a bad day, you might come home and write an emotional diatribe, getting all your negative thoughts out. But later on you can look at what you’ve written and decide if you really want that to be your narrative. Maybe you don’t. You can use your entries to reevaluate things and feelings, and realize that you want a more positive trajectory.
Make it your own personal ritual
“Keeping up with basic daily routines can make you feel better when you’re depressed. When you’re depressed, sometimes just getting up to brush and floss your teeth is something to be celebrated. Make a daily writing session part of your routine,” suggests Jeremy Neff, health writer at Boom Essays. It doesn’t need to be a big time commitment, it just needs to be a commitment. You can create a daily ritual where you spend ten or twenty minutes of writing. Or you could give yourself a word count target of one or two hundred words. If you’ve found routines help you with your depression, then consider adding in writing as part of your routine.
Take it easy on yourself
A big part of depression is experiencing self-loathing and guilt. Don’t let these become associated with your writing habit. Sometimes you just won’t be able to make it happen, and that’s okay. Take it easy on yourself; you’ll do it better tomorrow. Or you could go periods of days, weeks, or even months where you just can’t write. Depression really can be debilitating. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t make you a failure. Give yourself the gift of grace. You’re going to have periods of time when you feel very energetic and creative, and it’s good to take advantage of those times and do lots of writing. But you’re also going to experience low periods, and it’s important to just accept that they are both realities.
Revising your thoughts and mindset
Look at the words you’ve written. Do you want them to be your story? Or do you want to change that story? Start by revising your words, and then revise your mindset. Do you want to feel this way? Maybe that’s a silly question because nobody wants to be depressed. But it’s a good exercise to write down on paper how you would like to feel, and how you would like to live. Take your old entries and revise them to something more positive and let that be your starting point. Go back and read what you have written earlier to help you see how writing can ease your depression. Keep writing about it.
Write about your depression
Write about something that is a heavy burden on your mind. What is pulling you further into these feelings of depression? Think about the emotions you’re experiencing and ask yourself “Why?” Think about the things depression deprives you of, and write them down. Try and think of five, or even ten. Then think about how you can get those things back. Try describing your depression in physical terms. Does it take on a color, texture, or sound? Write out a conversation between you and your depression. You’ve probably got some questions you would like to ask it. Why is it here? Why did it choose you? Try and draw a line between yourself and your depression. You are not your depression. Consider using some writing resources such as StateofWriting and ViaWriting to enhance your writing sessions.
Conclusion: Writing can ease your depression
You have seen how writing can ease your depression. It’s not a cure, but can provide some relief and help you work towards moving in the direction you would like to go.
About the Author
Grace Carter is a health blogger at UKWritings and Essayroo writing websites. She curates content, develops marketing strategies and manages online submissions. Also, Grace is a tutor at College Paper Writing Service, educational service.