Journal Work: Three Tools for Instant Problem Solving

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If you’ve never imagined that your journal could help you solve problems, then you might change your mind because in this post, I share three simple tools for problem solving with your journal.

That’s right: three really simple tools that really work.

Are you ready? Great. Let’s go then.

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The Anti-Depression Recipe That Saved My Life

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The cliché is that creativity and depression go hand-in-hand. Like many clichés, this one is quite true. But creators are not necessarily afflicted with some biological disease or psychological disorder that causes them to experience depression at the alarming rates we see. They experience depression simply because they are caught up in a struggle to make life seem meaningful to them. Eric Maisel, (2002:4), The Van Gogh Blues.

This post has not been easy to write, even though I really wanted to write it. Revealing my innermost, blackest days will rend me wide open for all to see. This post details specific techniques within the process of my healing that I believe were critical to overcoming depression. I hope others might find it helpful to see that it is a long, painful process, but it is possible – largely without drugs.

Warning: long and personally revealing post.

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How Keeping a Journal Made Me Grow

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Many times in my life I’ve been really, really stuck. Stuck in the black hole of depression, or stuck replaying an unpleasant exchange with someone inside my head. I’ve spent days –and sometimes months- going over and over painful past events and conversations with thoughts like: I should have said this, I wish I’d said that, or mentally lecturing the person who upset me.

About two years ago, I discovered something that (mostly) puts a stop to this the painful mental reprocessing: writing these conversations out in a journal. I’ve also found that journaling really helps me think about new ideas and plan major life changes. Journaling is now my main form of swadhyaya –self study. In other words, journaling has really helped me sort through my shit. I don’t know if it will work for you, but here’s what works for me.

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