I have written some graphic things in my journal. It can seem like navel-gazing, but actually I have found it helpful.
Sometimes, as guided by my counsellor, I write out numbered fears. Then I counter them with a series of facts. This is sometimes called 'challenging'; confronting bad ways of thinking with some truths/alternative ways of thinking. I suspect this will be familiar to those who have had CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Most days, this works. Not all, but most days.
My journal also helps me gain perspective. Does life seem particularly bad this week? Skip back 3 months, 6 months, one year, and what do I find? I was in a really bad place "back then", and guess what? I came through it. Wasn't I negative back then? Somehow I feel better about my supposed problems now. I am actually behaving roughly normally. I just have a tendency to be negative. And that is OK.
A Moodscope member.