A journal can be very beneficial whether you use it as a gratitude journal or to help you reduce stress. From a mental health perspective it can help you to know yourself better and clarify your thoughts and feelings.
Gratitude journals are very popular and a lot of people find them very useful. They have a lot of benefits too. However, what I find even more helpful is at the start of the day writing out five things that I have to do in order to make me happy. Whether it’s walking my dog, going to the gym, having a nice meal or putting on makeup for no reason. Then at the end of the day I tick off what I’ve done. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and it helps me be actively involved in changing my mood.
A journal can also be great at reducing stress. It can help if you write about what stressed you out and what you felt about it. You should feel a sense of relief after getting it off your chest.
What I find most beneficial about a journal from a mental health perspective is that it can help you know yourself better and it can also help clarify your thoughts and feelings. If you get in the habit of writing down your thoughts and feelings this can help you know what makes you tick, what annoys you, what inspires you and what motivates you. It can help you know your triggers, what makes you upset, what sets you off. It can also help get you back on track.
Writing a journal can be very useful too if you are on a waiting list to see a mental health professional or if you are currently attending appointments with one. If you know how you were feeling on different days and that you know what sets you off it can help them work out what’s going on and what the next steps will be.
At this time of year stress can take hold. Essay deadlines, exams and Christmas shopping.
Stress is a difficult thing to understand and can be hard to deal with. A certain amount of it is good. It can help you get an essay done when you have a fast approaching deadline. However, if you get over stressed you may be at risk so I’d like to share some tips on how to avoid getting over-stressed.
- Talk to people you trust about how you’re feeling. Always share your problems, no matter how big or how small. There is always someone around who cares even if we are too engrossed in our own little world that we can’t see it. A listening ear is always waiting. If you’re particularly stressed or if you’re just down about something don’t keep it bottled in.
- If you don’t feel that you can share it (even though you should) at least write it down. It’s amazing how helpful it is. You can rant until you run out of pages.
- Always keep in check with how you’re feeling. I find the best way to do this is to keep a journal. Another good way to do it is to fill out a life wheel regularly. Like the one below. On it you rate how you feel about that area of your life from one to ten and then you write out a plan on how you are going to change the areas you would like to improve on.
- Exercise! It’s so important to get in as much exercise as you possibly can.
- No matter how much you have to get done balance is vital. Always have down time or you’ll get over stressed and over tired.
- Puppies and Babies! I know it sounds silly but when has a little puppy not made you happy or a baby cuddle and that wonderful baby smell. If you don’t have either on hand or a friend with either who’ll let you cuddle them watching silly videos of them is always bound to beat that stress.
- Remember to eat, and eat healthy and keep hydrated.
- Get as much sleep as possible and if you can’t get to sleep at least go to bed and rest. You need your energy and I know caffeine can provide that but sleep is more important.
- Stay in contact with friends. Meet up with them as much as you can.
- Go outside and live! Don’t spend all your time playing games on your phone and on social media. Get out there and enjoy your life.
As always, remember that life truly is beautiful.
While scrolling through Facebook today it really struck me that people put up and like a lot of stuff about others failing to do things and comparing it to them failing at life.
People really don’t believe in themselves these days. There’s so much crap around like air-brushed models and supposedly perfect celebs with what seem like perfect lives. People are so struck down by all of this thinking ‘I’m struggling’ or ‘I’m a failure’ when you’re not, you’re Human.
Even I look at celebs my age sometimes and think ‘wow I’ve got to get me some of that! I want to be like them’ but their lives aren’t all rosy in the garden either. Adele has anxiety and so does Zayn Malick. So many other celebs have similar problems and they are all just as clumsy, just as normal and human as we are they just have fans.
It’s time we all woke up and realised that underneath it all we’re all the same. We all fail sometimes but just because we failed once does not mean that we are failures. It just means that we have to get back up and try and do better next time. We are all human, we all make mistakes.
So, don’t let this be you! Live your life to the best of your ability and live every moment.
Why Not!?! Just because it is all over the media doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be talked about.
It is also a subject close to my heart for a variety of reasons. I have a number of friends who have mental health difficulties and friends who have had bouts of suicidal behaviour. I too have had mental health difficulties which you can read about in my about section. I am also training to be a secondary school teacher and it is my goal to help students feel good about themselves and to look after themselves.
I have also been told and firmly believe that I was put on this earth to make people happy. That was alright when I was six and walked into a pole stupidly to make my friend laugh after she fell and hurt herself but when I grew up I realised that all that making people happy business is hard because life is hard.
But what if I told you that life can be a better place once you have the right tools, the right books, knowledge and resources in order to live the life we want and need.
What I want to do is teach you the necessary skills, give you advice and recommend some books that will help you live that life. I want to remind you that working the mind and keeping it fit and healthy is just as important as keeping the rest of your body fit and healthy.
I also want to remind you to look at the beauty of life.
The best advice I can give anyone is to talk. I know it’s really hard sometimes but it is very important that you talk to someone if something’s bothering you or if you’re just having a bad day. It’s always important to lighten the load and let off some steam. As they say:
It is most important to try to share what’s going on with someone when you are in the depths of despair. When people are really down one of the first things they do is isolate themselves. It may be really difficult, near impossible to share what you’re going through with someone but it’s vital that you do in order for someone to help you.
If you notice that something is even a little bit off with someone you love, talk to them about it and be there for them. This is most important if someone you love starts isolating themselves, especially if they have an existing mental health condition.
Baby steps, however, are key. Whether you’re the person outside looking in or you are the person dealing with something. If you’re having a really hard time try to say “I’m having a bad day”. You don’t have to talk about it yet if you don’t want to. Even admitting it is a great step to take. If you’re the person on the outside, offer your loved one a cup of tea or build them a nest. It lets them know that you’re there for them when they are ready.
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