Have you ever had so much happening in your brain, that it feels like everything is going to stop? A million thoughts happening at once can make even the calmest person anxious, looking for an outlet. Before you try conventional therapy, get your pen or pencil out. Start writing, and enjoy physical and psychological benefits.
How Writing Can Heal
Most writers will tell you that writing holds a special power. With it comes catharsis, allowing even the busiest mind to slow down if only for a few minutes, to gather their thoughts, and to express whatever it is they may be feeling.
Through writing, one can explore one’s own experiences, both positive and negative. This can help someone work through something difficult, from grief over the loss of a loved one to divorce or even the stress of a new job. Writing can make you aware of feelings you didn’t know you had, and help you find ways to cope with certain situations.
By putting your words out into the ether, you validate those feelings, in a sense making them real. Even if you never share your words with another person, you’re sharing them with the universe and not just bottling them up. Writing allows you, in no uncertain terms, to make sense of things, even if you don’t realize it.
What Should You Write?
The answer depends on you. Since no two people are experiencing life from the same perspective, no two people are going to write the same way or about the same things.
It could be a short list, bullet points about life’s events, or a more formally-organized piece. You could write daily, weekly, or even multiple times an hour. When you do write, there are no rules–it’s just you and your own thoughts, no right or wrong way to do things. By getting your thoughts out, you’re reducing stress and trauma, getting your thoughts out that you ordinarily might not.
Real, Tangible Health Benefits
Countless studies have been done about the benefits that writing can offer, and they all show the same result–that writing can improve your well-being. One study, in particular, had a group of college students write daily about personal events that were bothering them, both the actual events and the feelings associated with them. The results were staggering.
For the college students, it meant 50 percent fewer visits to the health center, as well as significant improvements in immune function. Students who journaled also displayed improved moods and a boost in positive attitudes. Students also reported feeling less anxious and more confident when it came to handling stress.
If you’re still not sure if writing is the best way to deal with stress, try it. Writing has no cost and no risk. Try it out for just a few minutes and see how you feel. What can it hurt?
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About The Author:
Ryan is a freelance writer primarily focusing on tech and health topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to the beach and spending time with her family.