The average person has about 20,000-30,000 thoughts a day. If you’ve decided you need to attend counseling, then, believe me, you’ve identified thinking as one area in which you’re above average.
Nobody can keep track of all of the thoughts that influence how they feel, but they can capture a big chunk of them by writing in a journal.
One of the first self-help assignments I give my clients is to have them purchase a journal where they can record their thoughts throughout the day. In the beginning, especially as clients are first learning to manage their anxiety and depression symptoms, I ask them to keep the journal with them. Then, when they feel an attack of nervousness, anxiety, depression or any other distressful emotion overcome them, they have a reservoir in which they can pour these thoughts and feelings.
Some people will tell me they dislike writing. And I can’t blame them, especially if they had a traumatic experience with a 10th grade English teacher. I encourage them to write anyway as it’s not the writing style we’re trying to improve but the thinking pattern which is contributing to their distressed mood. My clients who are motivated to change and take up journaling discover within a short time that writing out their thoughts and feelings is one of the most effective ways to release them.
If you write in a journal, will you please respond here how you’ve discovered it helps you?