According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, mental health diseases are among the top-10 reasons for premature death among US citizens. This fact alone increases the importance of mental health protection awareness. Along with the obvious ways to keep ourselves healthy, like getting enough sleep, meditating, eating well, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and surrounding ourselves with people we love, there are additional options that might help us to have a happy and healthy brain.
One of the popular directions in psychology in recent decades has been creativity and art therapy, as they help people to find relief from stress and boost their self-awareness and self-esteem. Hundreds of psychological papers have been devoted to the anxiety-relieving properties of coloring books and meditation-like impact of mandala drawing. But we find it strange that there is so little information on the Web on how to use writing to improve your mental state, so let’s fix this issue.
1. Write Down Lists
Lists work great when you have to identify problems and their causes, to find non-standard solutions, or to recognize your true desires and fears. Let there be 50 or 100 items in your list: write them down as fast as possible, don’t think too much over each point, and don’t be afraid about repeating some of them. Maybe this means the item you’ve added twice means a lot to you. Choose any topic, as all of them will help you to understand yourself and your life better. For example, try to write down:
- 100 things I’m afraid of the most
- 100 things I want to do in my life
- 100 reasons why I love this person
- 100 ideas for my book
- 100 things I like about myself
- 100 things I feel anxious and stressed about
When you finish writing, analyze your list. Divide your answers into categories and get ready to be surprised. Pay special attention to the last third of your list, as your logic might stop working and your subconscious will start talking. This part can provide you with valuable information.
2. Start a Diary
Is something bothering you? Write it down, as it is useful to put an unpleasant experience into words. It helps to get rid of negative emotions, understand your problems, and reduce the symptoms of depression.
Every evening, write down three things you are grateful for and three achievements of the day that has passed, even if it seems to you that these reasons and achievements are insignificant.
Here are some more recommendations on how to get benefits from your diary:
- Date each entry
- Don’t lie to yourself: write the truth
- Write fast and don’t worry about literacy and accuracy
- Describe situations that have surprised or astonished you
- Write down your dreams
- Don’t be afraid to write nonsense
- Hide your diary securely
3. Describe People Around You
Describe the people around you and yourself. What are their or your features, ways of behavior and thinking, and motives behind their actions? The describing method is very useful when you have a conflict with someone and you need to understand the person better. It also helps if you want to see various traits of your own personality.
Even when you describe someone else, you improve your self-awareness. When you love or hate someone’s traits, have a better look at your own personality: most likely you feel the same about these qualities in yourself.People around you are your mirrors, and you can see your own reflection in them if you have enough courage to look closely.
4. Try Calligraphy
Scientists from Japan and China claim that calligraphic writing can help with distracted attention and space orientation problems. It can even ease Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Some surveys show that calligraphy can be compared to meditation and as such, it diminishes stress levels and reduces muscle tension.
5. Write Letters
You don’t have to send all of them. Especially if you are writing grief, anger, and resentment letters. We offer you a safe opportunity to tell everything you want to a person without the risk of later regrets. Blame, prove your point, complain about your addressee, and maybe this way you will formulate a proper strategy of communication with this person in the future.
Some letters should be sent, though. For example, letters of thanks, both for particular cases and to people you love just to let them know how much you appreciate their existence in your life. When you feel and express gratitude, you become happier.
Writing letters to yourself is another technique psychologists advise for their clients. These letters are especially useful if you write them when you are in a good and optimistic mood, addressing your bad, sluggish, and sore moods. For example, if you know you feel bad in the mornings, write a letter to yourself in the evening, telling what you should do this day, and what is more important, showing sympathy and love. Use kind and encouraging words you would use for someone you really like and you will notice that your mornings will become sunnier.
Especially for Students: Don’t Let Papers Affect Your Mental Health
One’s college years are one of the most stressful periods in the lives of modern adolescents. It’s not only the time when you are expected to get acquainted with the new role of being a student, find your place in this world, and make new friends in an uncommon surrounding, but get good grades as well. And sometimes life interferes with your plans and studies and you find yourself buried under tons of papers that have to be turned in tomorrow morning. We assure you that this is not the end of the world. Today you can apply for writing services to get professional assistance with your papers. For the long term, your college years will teach you how to deal with an overwhelming workflow and stay healthy: both physically and mentally.