Since her groundbreaking decision at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles has been open and honest about her mental health. At a recent awards event, the Olympic gold medalist spoke about her journey with mental health, and how she hopes that her experiences will inspire others to prioritize their own,
“I hope that I’ve allowed them to use their voices and be powerful with it because I know my career has been very successful, but I’ve also had my ups and downs. I hope people see that and can relate to that being in their everyday life. Just to not give up and to move forward and keep pushing.”
The Olympic gold medalist also shared what tools she’s found that help her manage her anxiety.
How Does Simone Biles Manage Her Anxiety?
The Essence magazine cover star was on hand to accept the Child Mind Institute’s Inaugural Trailblazer Award at the annual Child Advocacy Awards. Child Mind Institute is a non-profit organization that sets out to help families and children struggling with mental health and learning disorders.
Speaking to the president, medical director, and co-founder of the Child Mind Institute, Harold S. Kopleqicz, M.D., Biles recounted her experience at the Tokyo Olympics and shared that her therapist suggested she write in a “worry journal” to cope better with her anxiety.
Simone Bile’s Worry Journal
Biles shared that she jots down her worries in the journal and then assigns a time during the day to address those concerns, preferably between 12 and 1 p.m.
“Anything I’ve written down in my worry journal, I use that hour to worry about the things then, and usually by the time 12 or 1 [p.m.] comes, I’ve already forgotten about all my worries so that kind of is a tool that helps me.”
How does journaling help mental health?
There are a few ways that jotting down your thoughts can help you manage your emotions, and there is research that backs these claims.
One study found that people diagnosed with major depressive disorder who wrote out their deepest thoughts and feelings ended up experiencing significant reductions in depression immediately after writing and even a month later.
Journaling can also help to mitigate stress and anxiety as it makes things much clearer, and it allows you to better control and manage your emotions.
How can I start journaling?
Yes, writing out your thoughts might sound daunting. But you don’t need to be a published author to jot down how you feel. It’s not a professional essay, so don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Rather just focus on writing out your thoughts and feelings.
You can do this every day, once a week, or only when you’re feeling stressed and anxious.
Yes, journaling can be a great way to work through your emotions. However, it isn’t a replacement for treatment or professional counseling. Simone Biles shared that while she was initially hesitant about going to therapy, she soon found comfort in her therapist. She now keeps close contact with her therapist, and she hopes that others will have the same experiences,
“It’s super exciting, so hopefully more people are open to going to therapy and just knowing that they’re there for you and not to harm you,” she said.
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Simone Biles/Instagram
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