One of the journaling techniques used to help people who are suicidal or deeply depressed is to create a Journal of Hope, sometimes called a Gratitude Journal. A daily reflection on what good things the journaler witnessed that day, and what memories the event brings to mind.
It may be a child who fell and skinned their knee and their mother comforted them. A carefree dog chasing a stick just living in the moment. Perhaps they saw a veteran with no legs sitting on the sidewalk asking for pocket change.
The only thing which needs to be important about the event is that it triggers a wholesome memory from the past. Events which remind us of the good things we have in our life and the things we are grateful for.
The therapeutic value of this journal method is based in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (C.B.T.) and may have a very positive effect in lessening a persons downward mood swings and improving their positive attitude.
We often encourage the journaler to insert a memorable photo, a napkin from a special lunch with a friend, perhaps a humorous cartoon that made them laugh that day. After which they are to write about the experience and how it made them feel.
Recently I came across a similar technique I feel is worth sharing. Dr. David Susman, PhD. suggests keeping a hope chest. A collection of items which trigger positive thoughts of gratitude in a person’s life.
I was very impressed by the idea and believe combining the hope chest with a gratitude journal may be a powerful emotional tool for health practitioners and individuals seeking self help.
Click here to read Dr. Susman’s article titled, “What’s in your hope box.”
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” –Desmond Tutu
“I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death… I think… peace and tranquillity will return again.” –Anne Frank
“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” –Robert H. Schuller