Writing is an age-old practice that has long been forgotten in the 21st century. People have stopped keeping journals and writing diaries, which used to be a literary tradition at one time. With the advent of ever-evolving technology, however, such as smartphones and the internet, one rarely writes, to the extent that people can’t even think of anything to write if asked to.
When confronted with such a situation, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on,” says American writer Louis L’Amour. When words begin to flow, they also bring with themselves the medicine for your physical and mental wellbeing. Countless experts from the around the globe prescribe writing for its therapeutic powers. From helping people overcome problems like traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and substance abuse, to giving a new perspective on life, writing can heal holistically.
You can approach writing through five ways—write letters to yourself, write letters to others, pen a poem, free writing or journaling, and mind mapping. Free writing or journaling is jotting down every thought that comes to mind, while mind mapping is creating mind maps, with your problem in the middle, surrounded by different aspects of your problem such as interpersonal-relationships, career etc. Based on prompts and exercises, expressive or therapeutic writing (writing therapy) can be beneficial, comforting and helpful. Soulveda takes a look at the therapeutic nature of writing and what it means for you and your life.
Writing can help you discover aspects about yourself that you otherwise did not know existed. The free flow of thoughts, apart from being cathartic, is also a creative instrument to discover the root cause of your emotional stress. The experience, sometimes, involves analysing events, memories, thoughts, feelings, and perspectives, giving them meaning through writing. In the long run, such self-awareness contributes to personal growth and mental wellbeing. Writing is “speaking to another consciousness—‘the reader’ or another part of the self. We come to know who we really are in the present moment,” says Elizabeth Sullivan, a San Francisco based counsellor, in an interview with PsychCentral.
Ever imagined, how Stephen King comes out with such alluring and unique novels every single time? He has perspectives, to see things in a new light, and so can you. Writing essays or simply jotting down your thoughts freely can help you find a new perspective or a viewpoint. When you view things from a new perspective, you begin to find silver linings for the problematic issues you are faced with.
Helps you learn and grasp things better
Writing can help you learn and grasp things better. The very act involves an exchange of signals between the hands and the brain. This helps in building motor memory which, in turn, enables you to retain information in an efficient way.