Many of us write down hundreds or thousands of words a day. From text messages to letters at work, writing is an integral part of our lives. But it’s not just for communication; psychology also shows that activities such as journaling and creative writing have a positive impact on our mental health. Let’s look at why:
Helps You Track Patterns
Journaling exercises typically encourage you to write every day. Many people chose to describe things they’ve done that day as well as the problems they face. “Journaling is great for enhancing self-awareness through helping us detect and track patterns of behavior, thoughts, and feelings.” Alison Stone, LCSW said.
When you do this daily, you’ll be able to look back and find patterns when it comes to your behaviors and feelings. Knowing about these issues provides you with much insight, helping you discover the root of your problems or worries. From there, you work towards addressing it.
Gives You Clarity
Writing in a diary or journal is essentially putting your thoughts on paper. By doing so, you create a reflection of yourself that you can better look at. You get to know yourself more: your fears, dreams, likes, and dislikes. From here, you’ll be able to get a good look at yourself and find out what needs to be changed. It can be difficult to know our faults, but journaling can help you gain clarity. “it’s not only the benefit of catharsis in the moment of writing that makes journaling so effective – It’s also reviewing what you’ve written.” says Lindsey Pratt Psychotherapy, LMHC.
Lets Your Emotions Out
Psychology has long warned us that bottling up emotions can be very harmful. Our mental health isn’t the only one that’ll take an impact, but our physical well-being will do so as well. Researchers found a link between negative emotions and heart disease. Sadness, anger, grief, and resentment will eat away at your chest – figuratively and literally.
Thankfully, writing can help us let our emotions out. Expressive writing, journaling, and even just messaging a friend can serve as a way for us to bring out what we’re feeling inside. For instance, if you’re feeling particularly angry about something, don’t you feel a bit relieved after ranting about it to your peers? Alternatively, you can write down all your frustrations and throw the paper away. Nobody else has to know, but at least you’ve let it all out. Writing helps us let go of negative feelings such as stress and stops them from hurting us.
Provides An Avenue For Self-Care
People always remind us how important it is to love yourself. But to be honest, it isn’t still easy, is it? But writing can serve as an avenue for us to improve our self-confidence and practice self-care. “Prioritizing daily self-care and making efforts to take action. Accepting that daily self-care is hard work and challenging.” Edna M. Esnil, PsyD said.
When journaling, task yourself to write about something you appreciate about yourself. It can be an achievement you’re proud of, an ideal you hold, or a characteristic you have. Giving yourself praise can help you battle negative emotions and is thus suitable for your mental health.
Another activity you can do is to write a letter addressed to yourself, forgiving you for something you’ve done wrong in the past. This exercise can be very freeing and helps you heal.
Makes You More Observant
When we face problems or are overly stressed, we tend to fixate on our issues. This tendency keeps us from enjoying life as we’re too busy trying to juggle our worries.
Imagine tasking yourself to write a short story. To do so, you must first find inspiration. You’ll be too busy looking for things to write about than to be caught up in our issues. Writing provides a way for us to get out of our heads and look at the things around us.
Keeps You Away From Negative Habits And Hobbies
When it comes to our struggles, many of us have negative ways of coping with them. Some of us turn to things like cigarettes, alcohol, overspending, or binge-eating. These activities can be more harmful and destructive than helpful.
Writing, on the other hand, is a positive hobby you can do. It not only helps us cope with our problems, but it also helps us deal with our issues. Writing is a more productive and healing interest, and it doesn’t even have to cost us anything.
Whether it be working on short stories, sending letters to our loved ones, or keeping a daily journal, writing helps us heal in several ways. It provides us with clarity, allowing us to track patterns that point to the root of problems that affect us. It also helps us express our emotions – both positive and negative.
We don’t have to be Shakespeare or Maya Angelou; writing is something anyone can do. Delve into it and find yourself feeling happier and more fulfilled as you create words onto a blank page.