Please enjoy this guest post from mental health writer Katherine Rundell.
Life throws us curve balls sometimes, something that 2020, and now 2021, taught us more than most years. If you feel yourself drawn back into past conflicts, agonizing over outcomes of previous relationships or struggling to come to terms with things in your own life, writing can offer a powerful outlet that lets you heal and grow.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways writing can positively impact your physical and mental well being. Developing your writing practice is just like growing into any other craft – it takes time and dedication. But by carving out a space in your day for written reflection you can tap into the healing power of writing.
Transforming Yourself Through Writing
Here are just a few ways you can discover the powerful healing effects of writing and journaling. Writing is an incredible way of processing events, whether that means accepting conclusions or learning to let go of the outcome. It can even impact your physical health!
Make Sense of Things Through Writing
Sometimes it can be difficult for our thoughts to crystalize about certain events and the way we think and feel in response to something can be complex. Taking the time to write things out forces you to take a series of layered and overlapping thoughts and turn them into something linear, cohesive – sentences in a story. This often helps us to understand what we’ve been through, and makes sense of our emotional responses.
Learning to Let Go
It’s natural to have that nagging feeling, the what if?… from time to time. Sometimes there is no natural conclusion to things, yet our brain will keep looking for answers. “Writing is a way of packaging experiences into a discrete whole – a beginning, a middle and a conclusion,” says Lena Graziano, a writer at PaperFellows and Boomessays, “and even if what happened in real life doesn’t always wrap up satisfactorily, writing it out can help draw a line under things.”
Let Writing Boost Your Immune System
Incredibly, research has shown that journaling has the power to strengthen your immune system, bolstering your defences against the daily bugs and viruses we come into contact with. Releasing negative thoughts and feelings onto the page feels good and has a real impact on your physical wellbeing.
Find New Perspectives On The Page
Inevitably, we go through life experiencing from one perspective – our own. But learning to see other people’s viewpoints can lead to greater empathy and understanding both of other people’s struggles and our own. Writing enables you to experiment with other perspectives in a way that you can rarely tap into without the written page. Try writing out your experiences from different perspectives and you might reach a new outlook that helps you grow.
How To Develop Your Writing Practice
“Beginning a writing practice can be intimidating at first – you may have high expectations for your creativity, or just not know where to start,” says Kayla Self, a mental health blogger at OXEssays and Essayroo. “It’s important to be patient with yourself when you’re starting your journaling journey – lower your expectations and learn to enjoy the practice.” Even writing for just fifteen minutes each day can enable you to leave negative energy on the page and find wisdom and peace in your words. The first step towards discovering writing’s healing power is to cast off your preconceptions and put pen to paper.
After you’ve overcome this first hurdle, you need to strengthen writing as a habit to access its healing power. Try to build writing into your day until it becomes an automatic practice – whether you’re sitting down at your desk with a blinking cursor or curling up on the sofa with your favourite notebook, perform the same actions daily until it’s drilled into your routine. I always brew a cup of my favorite herbal tea to signal to myself that it’s time to write. Through practice, habit and routine you can take small steps towards greater mental and emotional understanding each day.
The healing power of writing is just waiting to be discovered. Whether it’s a biro, colored pencil or a sharpie, get started today
Katherine Rundell is a mental health writer at Academic Writing Service and Ukwritings.com. She writes about the great untapped potential for loving ourselves and has spent fifteen years leading counselling and therapy courses. She is also a proofreader at Custom Writing Service.