How Can Depression Worksheets Benefit Your Mental Health?
Depression worksheets are outstanding tools for mental health. They inform, enlighten, clarify, pinpoint, and help you take back your life from depression. Perhaps the best thing about depression worksheets is that they allow you to take an active role in your treatment. You do a lot of hard work and honest reflection to pull yourself out of your depression and into the life you want to live and the self you want to be. This look at depression worksheets will show you some of the types and benefits of empowering yourself through written depression exercises.
Depression worksheets are often (but not always) part of mental health therapy. A counselor or therapist might assign worksheets as homework between sessions. This allows you to process and expand on work done during your sessions, and it provides a concrete discussion tool for you and your therapist.
You don’t have to be in therapy to use and benefit from depression worksheets, however. Many people use them as self-help tools. Helpful worksheets can be found in workbooks and online.
Whether you are using worksheets as a part of formal therapy or are completing them on your own, depression worksheets offer numerous benefits.
How Depression Worksheets Benefit Your Mental Health and Wellbeing
Depression worksheets serve a purpose. They help release you from the mental trap in which depression locks you. Depression involves, in part, ruminating over negative thoughts. A nasty effect of depression is living in your head, stuck in a holding pattern unable to land on solid ground and move forward. By engaging in worksheets, you begin to do something about your thoughts. When they’re on paper right in front of you, you can address them. You also are able to make plans for moving past them.
When you complete depression worksheets, you get specific with symptoms, thoughts, emotions, goals, values, hopes, and dreams. As opposed to open-ended journaling (depression journaling is another method of healing with numerous benefits), worksheets target specific things. In doing so, they help you:
- Recognize your depression symptoms
- Understand precisely how depression is limiting your life
- Identify values and goals
- See what needs to be done to treat your depression
- Plan action steps for moving forward
- See tangible evidence of progress, such as changing thoughts
No single depression worksheet accomplishes all of these things at once. That would be rather overwhelming and quite ineffective. Instead, different types of worksheets help you grow in specific ways.
Types and Examples of Depression Worksheets
Some depression worksheets accompany specific therapeutic approaches. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), and rational-emotive behavior therapy are some common forms of counseling that often incorporate worksheets into the treatment.
Worksheets for CBT help you identify, confront, and change your negative thought patterns that are keeping you stuck. After you learn the types of automatic thoughts and distorted thinking patterns, a CBT worksheet might ask you to
- Identify an automatic negative thought
- Name the distorted thinking pattern
- Re-write the thought to one that is accurate and realistic
Acceptance and commitment therapy helps people accept certain situations that can’t be changed and separate themselves from their problems by living mindfully, identifying values, and taking effective action to create their quality life free from depression, anxiety, and other problems. An ACT worksheet could have you
- Reflect on your thoughts or emotions
- Describe how they affect your actions
- Consider how your depression is preventing you from living in your present moment
- List reasons why you want to be present (your values)
In SFBT, people focus much more on solutions than on problems. You might complete a worksheet that uses scales to rate the severity of your depression and use it to consider ways you can move down the scale toward freedom from depression.
Worksheets for REBT often focus on having people identify an “activating event,” a situation that triggered depressive thoughts and feelings. Next, you would describe the beliefs you have about the situation so you can see how depression clouds your perspective. Then you might write about the consequences of your beliefs and use all of your reflections to make changes in your reactions to situations.
Other worksheets for depression help you identify your strengths and character traits as well as explore how to use them. Still others provide general exercises to help you actively work through your challenges.
Depression worksheets are often hard work. They require a commitment to yourself to delve deeply into yourself and your experience with this illness. It can be difficult at times to examine yourself openly and honestly, but the benefits you reap are worth it. When you use worksheets to confront problems and work to intentionally define the life you want, you actively gain control over your life and how you live it.
Peterson, T. (2020, May 8). How Can Depression Worksheets Benefit Your Mental Health?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/depression/how-can-depression-worksheets-benefit-your-mental-health