5 min read
My senior year of high school was rough. I took all college classes including AP and Dual Credit. On top of that, halfway through senior year I was shocked to see 2 random science classes that popped up on my spring schedule. It turned out that my advisor forgot to verify I needed another science credit to graduate!
In total, I took 9 college classes.
Meanwhile, being an overachiever that I am, I had 3 honor societies and 3 leadership positions under my belt. Did I mention I was a martial artist as well?
Obviously after a few months the bubbling madness of stress took a toll on my mental health.
School can be stressful. That’s why its crucial to take a step back and reassess yourself daily.
Journaling is a powerful tool that can help cope with the stresses accompanied with your daily grind.
Journaling is actually proven to help manage your anxiety, guard against depression, and lower stress. (source: University of Rochester Medical Center) Why?
- Journaling is a way of active thinking about your own problems, fears, and worries. You will be able to rationally talk to yourself and view your conflicts on paper.
- Journaling can track things that make you worry or upset in order to come up with better solutions to handle them.
- Journaling helps you talk to yourself like a friend to put issues into perspective.
The University of Rochester Medical Center reminds students that journaling is only one puzzle piece in building a happy and healthy lifestyle.
They highly recommend these essential practices:
- Relax and meditate each day.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly—get in some activity every day.
- Treat yourself to plenty of sleep each night.
- Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
They emphasize using a journal to track these necessary healthy habits everyday. (tip: a bullet journal can help you track these habits)
What is the most beneficial way for me to journal?
1. Write daily.
It is important to write daily. Set aside a time and place to write.
For example, I personally write in my bed when I wake up in the morning in a prayer journal and practice thankfulness (all of us have so much to be thankful for).
I even write at night in my bed before I go to sleep to think about things that happened in the day. I reflect on what excited me or events and occurrences that stood out that day.
2. Write everything.
Don’t think about making spelling mistakes or if your handwriting is nearly illegible. This journal is only for you.
Writing all your fears and worries down on a physical piece of paper is when the power of journaling creates a healthy state of mind.
Journaling is a physical reality of emptying your mind of toxic thoughts and putting them away in another location away from your brain.
Journaling shouldn’t be stressful and should be one of your favorite parts of the day.
It is a time for you to relax and reflect. Journaling is a way of self-care.
I suggest drinking a hot cup of your favorite tea while sitting in a quiet space in your room. Surround yourself with candles, plant friends, or anything that relaxes you.