In today’s hectic world, there are many stressors and reasons for an individual to feel anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed.
Everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to a stressful job interview to a rough patch with your significant other can cause severe stress. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of mental health may set in as a result.
We know that these stressors genuinely have an impact on the mental health of many individuals, especially those in particularly demanding situations or fields. For example, around 69% of workers admit that they experience burnout due to high amounts of stress at work.
Because of how stressful and busy our world is, mental health care has never been more critical. Taking time to be mindful of and maintain a strong grip on mental health is absolutely essential for anybody living through 2021.
Luckily, there are more resources than ever before available to help you secure your mental wellbeing, including some that may already be inside your home!
Resources for Mental Health
There are a variety of exercises and activities that can help you maintain your mental health and tackle signs that it may be taking a turn.
For example, some of the most common advice given is to practice mindfulness or to receive therapy sessions from a licensed professional (click here for more information on therapy and how you can make it work for you).
Therapists, even those who primarily operate through online sources, have the training and experience necessary to help you develop coping skills for managing symptoms and stress.
Journaling and Mental Health
In addition to therapy and mindfulness, one incredibly helpful practice to consider is maintaining a journal.
There are a myriad of positive benefits of keeping a journal, most of which relate to maintaining and improving your mental health.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the benefits of maintaining a journal:
1. Keeping a Journal Will Help You Track and Achieve Your Goals
One of the most essential aspects of goal-setting is actually codifying those goals and keeping track of your progress towards them. In other words, goals don’t typically do you any good if you don’t follow up with how you’re doing. Keeping a journal will give you a physical, tangible copy of your progress (both achievements and stumbles) and ensure that you stay up to date with what you hope to accomplish.
2. Your Writing, and Thus Your Intellect, Will be More Thoughtful and Improve Overall
Journaling each day can do wonders for your intellectual aptitude and writing skills. By far the best way, perhaps the only way, to improve your writing is to practice, practice, practice. Keeping a journal will give you the impetus to improve your writing, which has been linked to improved mental aptitude overall.
3. Maintaining a journal can help you relieve stress
One of the best ways to reduce stress healthily is to simply become mindful about what is stressing you out. Keeping a journal is, in a sense, a conversation with a fictitious therapist – you are sharing and expressing your inner thoughts and feelings, some of which may come as a surprise to you. A journal helps you continue to be aware and conscious of your thoughts and emotions, which can, in turn, help relieve stress.
4. A Journal Can Help You Improve Your Memory
This particular benefit makes a lot of sense. If you write down things that happened to you and emotions you felt, you’re more likely to recall those experiences in the future. Improved memory is a positive benefit for its own sake, but it also has the added benefit of helping you avoid unpleasant situations in the future since you know what makes you upset or stressed.
5. Journaling Helps Boost Creativity
By taking some time out of each day to write down your thoughts and feelings, you can better understand your deeply held emotions. In doing so, you can better grasp what makes you tick – both positively and negatively. Such a process can help encourage creative thinking and allow you to think outside of the box more often.
6. Journaling Can Boost Your Self-Confidence
By working to unpack and overcome your emotions (and reactions to emotions), you can better understand yourself and be confident in who you are. Writing things down can help confirm them to yourself, leading you to be more confident and assertive about the ideas you are passionate about.
There are, of course, many other benefits to keeping a journal that aren’t listed here.
Maintaining a journal can be a gratifying and positive life experience for just about anyone, but it’s especially useful for those who handle stressful, anxiety-inducing, or otherwise distressing situations regularly.
If you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, consider starting a journal – in addition to other aspects of mental health care, like mindfulness and counseling, if necessary – to help you improve your mental health and get back on track.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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