By Amanda Chappell
One of the most effective decompressing strategies is to take out a journal and write down your thoughts. Many people believe they do not have the ability or the skill to write, but it’s not a matter of how good you are when it comes to letting it all out. Writing is an outlet that is readily available for anyone to utilize, many just take it for granted.
If you are not a fan of venting your life’s problems and feeling like a burden to someone, a journal is the best route to go. Journals provide the confidentiality, comfort, and secrecy that some people do not. The best way to start journaling, if you never have done it before, is to completely clear your mind and set a 30-second timer. As soon as the timer starts, write down anything that comes to mind without thinking hard about it. When the timer is up, go over what you wrote, and I guarantee that you will learn more about yourself in just those 30 seconds than you could imagine.
Maybe physically writing out with pen and paper isn’t your thing, but typing is, the same concept can be applied. The key thing to remember, however, is to not think too much about what you are writing – type the first you think of. That way, you are not fighting against your thoughts, and allowing yourself to accurately let out what you have been bottling up.
Another tip when writing, if you don’t like writing directly about yourself, is to try writing a short story with a character that struggles with problems that are similar to yours. For instance, let’s say the thing that is stressing you out the most right now is a stack of homework you have yet to complete. The character you create could work as a columnist for a local newspaper and has a plethora of article deadlines that are piling up. This way, you aren’t putting the focus just on yourself, and you are exercising your creative talents.
Whether you are feeling the overwhelming pressure of schoolwork, or maybe other areas in your life that are hard to keep up with, try to track your mental health at the end of every day by either writing it out in a journal, or typing it up on your laptop. Although it may be tough to start out at first, if you let writing change your life, it will.