Mental health consists of the social, psychological, and emotional well-being of an individual. It directly affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is regulated through coping techniques that determine how an individual handles stress, anxiety, and other aspects of life’s experiences. One in five American adults experience a mental health issue at some point in their life (NAMI). It’s obvious that mental health is an important factor of people’s lives, yet it is often an overlooked and misunderstood issue. Because of this, individuals need to be able to take matters of their mental health and well-being into their own hands, which ultimately means that they need to develop effective coping techniques.
Effects of mental health are often crippling and constraining, so to reverse its effect, utilizing creative expression as a release of emotion and creativity, is extremely effective. To create this type of outlet, I propose starting an altered book, which can serve as daily journal.
What is an altered book?
An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that consists of changing a book from its original form by altering its appearance. It’s like a mixture of scrapbooking, doodling, blackout poetry, and so many more things. In this context, it can be used as a daily journal, where an individual takes on the task of doing a page a day to express their feelings, emotions, and experiences from that particular day. By implementing this type of genuine freedom of expression, individuals will be more able to sort through their emotions, thoughts, and feelings, while also expanding their creative inclinations.
Every person deals with the implications that mental health has on everyday life. There is not a person who doesn’t experience emotions, feelings, or thoughts on a day-to-day basis. These aspects of humanity are what make us who we are. They instill our temperament and personality, as well as our choices and future decisions. Why not provide yourself with a healthy outlet to evaluate, assess, and deal with these issues? By acknowledging mental health and giving it the attention it deserves, we are preventing it from escalating and debilitating ourselves. Mental health can be a good topic, and effective coping is the best way to achieve this. It’s beneficial for those who struggle with their mental health, and it also serves as a helpful prevention technique for those who don’t. By having these skills incorporated into everyday life, individuals are equipped with the self-help abilities they need.