Mental health issues are no longer a taboo subject. People of all trades and walks of life can be affected. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 53 million adults in the United States live with some form of mental illness. That is approximately one in every five adults.
While the intensity and type of mental health issues vary, we all are affected, even if only slightly. Those who work or study hard know what it means to be under constant pressure, struggling to meet tight deadlines and manage a seemingly impossible workflow.
Living with continuous stress is all the more reason to take action to manage or prevent troubling mental health issues. The good news is that you may not always need to seek help from a professional. Simple activities such as writing in a diary can have a transformative impact on your mental health. Keep reading to find out how.
Less Stress and Anxiety
Stress is a silent killer with long-term negative impacts on your mental health. Writing is an effective measure for preventing or reducing stress and anxiety. What’s more, writing in a diary is relatively easy and inexpensive. All it takes is scheduling 20-30 minutes in your daily schedule, getting pen and paper, and finding a comfortable space.
Make it part of your routine to dedicate time to summing up your day and planning for the next one. You can do it before going to bed or late in the afternoon. Of course, you can always take quick notes throughout your day to use them in your daily wrap-up.
When you keep a diary, you are both the author and the reader. You get to review and assess your own thinking. This inward-looking process creates opportunities to express your thoughts on any subject without fear. It is your chance to break stereotypes, push the envelope, and explore uncharted territory.
You do not need to stick to any limits. Write, write, and write some more. Comment, criticize, eulogize, innovate – the list goes on and on. Empty your brain of thoughts and put them into writing in all possible ways, shapes, and forms. Stream of consciousness is difficult to transform into a written narrative, but you will find it liberating.
You can also use your diary as a planning tool to achieve your goals. In addition to your free-flowing thoughts and ideas, make space for planning and prioritizing your daily and weekly tasks. Every night, you can assess progress, make adjustments, and set new action points for the next day.
In addition to the practical benefit of getting things done, you will constantly discipline your brain to concentrate on specific tasks. Improving your cognitive skills, such as concentration, memory, and reasoning, is also a great way to boost your mental health.
In many respects, writing a diary becomes a form of meditation with direct benefits of reduced stress levels and improved cognitiion. Think of the writing process as a self-applied therapy session in which you act as both therapist and patient.
Whether you keep your diary for creative writing, daily planning, or exploring feelings, it will help release some of your most deeply hidden pent-up emotions. Freeing your mind of unpleasant emotions is a great way to support your mental health.
No Social Media
The more time you dedicate to writing your diary, the less time you will spend on social media. Not a bad idea in today’s world. Excessive use of social media is a potential cause of anxiety and low self-esteem, which negatively affect your mental health.
Devote quality time to yourself by staying away from all the buzz and hype of social media. Your brain and body require occasional solitude and tranquility to pause, reflect, and replenish your energy reserves.
Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
Setting aside dedicated time for yourself increases your chances of boosting your emotional intelligence and empathy towards others. As you write your diary, there’s no way you can avoid doing some soul-searching. Analyzing your actions and related emotions, you experience the benefits of personal growth. You also get the chance to recognize and learn from your mistakes.
Writing and reviewing your actions is a great way to learn how to improve the way you manage your emotions. This process can also help you understand other people’s feelings, helping you achieve your goals and be a responsible, conscientious person.
Bringing It Together
Our mental health depends on multiple components like a puzzle that must be meticulously assembled. Writing in a diary as part of your daily routine is an easy and practical way of supporting your mental health.
There are multiple benefits associated with writing a diary. Taking the time and space to write regularly, freely, and consistently, you can give yourself a new outlook on life—one that will boost your mental health and open up opportunities you haven’t even thought about before.
About the Author: Jessica Fender is an editor at GrabMyEssay and a long-time professional writer renowned for her insightful blogs and articles. Her pinpoint accuracy and research-based advice have benefited thousands of youth dealing with stressful routines and demanding college assignments. Jessica has also participated in extensive research on positive correlations between journaling and mental health.
Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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