Collins' Guide to Mental Wellness: Digital Detox & Ritual Journaling

What is Mental Wellness?

Mental wellness is a positive state of mind. Mental wellness is much more than the absence of mental disorders, mentally well people are positive, self-assured and in control of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. Attaining mental wellness will also help achieve mindfulness, the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of one’s current condition and state, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by stressful situations.

There are several pathways to achieving mental wellness; for example, practicing yoga and meditation. In this article, we will be focusing on two methods:

Digital Detox

digital detox

Digital detoxing involves removing ourselves from technology as much as possible; to not be inundated with outside influences and bombarded by an information overload. Taking a step back from digital devices will help you focus on the present, and provide respite from the stress of constant connectivity.

Research has shown the harmful effects of technology. In the American Psychological Associations' annual Stress in America survey, a fifth of U.S. adults (around 18%) cited technology use as a significant source of stress in their life. For many, it is the ever-present digital connection and constant need to keep checking emails, texts, and social media that accounted for the majority of this tech stress. Another study conducted by researchers in Sweden found that heavy technology use among young adults was linked to sleeping problems, depressive symptoms, and increased stress levels.

Evidence also suggests that heavy device use, particularly prior to bedtime, can interfere with sleep quality and quantity. One study found that children who use digital devices at bedtime had significantly worse and less sleep. The study also found a connection between nighttime tech use and increased body mass index.

 Signs You Might Need a Digital Detox

  • You have trouble concentrating on one thing without having to check your phone
  • You feel anxious or stressed out if you can't find your phone
  • You feel compelled to check your phone every few minutes
  • You feel depressed, anxious, or angry after spending time on social media
  • You are preoccupied with the like, comment, or reshare counts on your social posts
  • You’re afraid that you'll miss something if you don't keep checking your device
  • You often find yourself staying up late or getting up early to play on your phone

 While forgoing digital devices is not an easy ask, there are many different ways you can make the transition easier.

  • A digital fast: Try giving up all digital devices for a short period of time, such as a day or up to a week
  • Recurrent digital abstinence: Pick one day of the week to go device-free
  • A specific detox: If one app, site, game, or digital tool is taking up too much of your time, focus on restricting your use of that problematic item
  • A social media detox: Focus on restricting or even completely eliminating your social media use for a specific period of time

Going device-free can be uncomfortable and stressful at times. You might feel annoyed, anxious, and even bored without your mobile phone. Rather than waking up the first thing in the morning and reaching out for your phone, why not take a step back and focus on the present, which brings us to our second pathway:

Ritual Journaling

Journaling Ritual

Journaling helps create space, separating yourself from the anxiety about the future and focus on the present moment. Use journaling as a tool to check in on yourself and your own internal happenings instead of the digital world. This can help promote self-awareness and mindfulness, and this in turn helps us recognise the imbalance within ourselves and realign the locus of control unto us.

Start off with a simple mindfulness exercise, sit quietly with yourself in the morning light and then again as the day transitions into night. Right now, this is a special and intimate time, just you in your inner abode. Rather than overcomplicating your mind, distil your thoughts and examine your feelings. What you are doing is re-learning and transcribing on how to be ok with just yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your body, and your innate state of simply being.

Unsure on how to start? Kick off with a few of these daily reflections to get your day started and let your own thoughts guide you along:

  • Did I wake well?
  • Do I feel connected or disconnected to myself this morning?
  • Did I feel an urge to reach for my phone or technology?
  • What is my mental state?
  • How does my heart feel?
  • How does my body feel?

Daily reflections at the end of the day:

  • How did my day go?
  • Did I use and trust my intuition today?
  • Did my energy levels change through the day?
  • How did I feel today, physically and mentally?
  • Was there something I feel proud of and love about myself today?
  • Where did I experience beauty today? (in myself, in others, in my life).

 

Journaling can be a great way to reclaim your peace in a noisy world, silence your inner critic and bring out your latent creativity. Aim to write consistently as regular journaling can help you to build a habit of being aware and present. It can also help you to remove the accumulated tension from both your mind and body. You will be able to see your surroundings and your emotions clearer.

A consistent combination of digital detoxing and ritual journaling can allow us to discharge, move through, and neutralize negative emotions. It will help you reset, clearing the clutter from inside out, and most importantly, focus on the being and attaining mental wellness.

Haven’t got your hands on our stylish journals? Here are our recommendations for you.

Special thanks to Natalie Ann of the Lifestyle Space & Kendra Cherry of Verywellmind.com.