How writing is good for mental health.

Have you ever considered how beneficial writing is to your mental health? And how bottling things up can cause more harm than good? I understand that everyone expresses themselves differently, but writing is one of the best and most effective medicines for dealing with hurts and pains. I realized this from the long unintended hiatus I had from writing and sharing on the blog. Let me just say that life has not been easy since my last post in May titled Body Insecurities with Delyse. You can check her blog here. My life only makes sense to me when I’ve put ink on paper.

I have missed you dearly. I’d been meaning to return to this space for months, but kept putting it off. We all know that the right intentions without work are all in vain. Simply planning to do something is not the same as actually doing it. Intent must always be followed by action. Okay now!!! Listen to me deviating!! … but anyways, that’s my way of saying I’m back, and back for good like I never left.

Damage – what can go wrong?

My mental health had not been in the best of shape during the hiatus. It’s funny how we underestimate writing, but it surely contributes positively to our mental health. For one, as much as things were hectic on my end, I knew I lacked “that” driving force that I knew could only be fulfilled by just putting words on paper. I knew my health depended on it. Let me give you a brief exercise. Take a moment and examine your mood when you are not writing, especially if you are a professional writer. You will realize how unhappy you are when you are writing. 
Thoughts are stacked up in the mind and that is why many creatives fell into a state of depression during the pandemic because they were no longer able to let their creative juices flow. The higher rate of suicide during the lockdown was proven to be among creatives.

Ways of writing:

Writing can be broad. And no one is restricting anyone from writing about anything. The fact is, we write because we know the benefits of improving our mental health. I’ve met several bloggers who express themselves in unusual ways. And maybe you have not been able to figure out your style of writing. You can write in the following ways, for example:

  • You can be a creative writer. Use fiction and a lot of metal horses to make your point. You can write as though you are talking about someone else instead of yourself while using your past experiences as a plot device. Sometimes it’s difficult to unpack an issue directly, in cases like grief and trauma, but I’ve seen people who know how to make difficult experiences so simple through creative writing.
  • There are those like me who can express themselves directly. where you can put down your feelings. It’s as if you know how you feel and you know how to express it in the best way possible. Another proven way to deal with emotions is through expressive writing.
  • Sometimes people write to reflect on their journey and how far they’ve come as individuals in different aspects of their lives. This type of writing can be used for reflections and just to make a self-inventory of how far you have come despite all the suffering and hurt in your life. Experts call it reflective writing.

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Here are reasons why writing is emphasized to be of help to mental health.

  • For mental clarity: We live in difficult times. Everything else is “instant-made” and there’s no time to reflect and just ease the mind. Writing is another tool to clear your mind from busyness, distractions, negative thoughts, or painful memories. The ability to bring the mind to clarity can only be fulfilled if you become honest about your feelings. The more you become honest about your feelings, the clearer your soul and mind become.
  • Become conscious of your feelings: Have you been in a situation where you do not know how you feel but you know that it’s not a good feeling? Well, … Although I don’t want to say it’s common it has frequently happened to me. It was only after I started blogging that I became more self-aware of my emotions. I got an opportunity to acknowledge my feelings and not negate them. I discovered better strategies to deal with them and a greater understanding of them.

Emotional intelligence can be learned, and writing is one of the possible tools to exercise it.

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  • Support for self esteem: Self-esteem is one of the things many of us struggle with. And sometimes we go all out to extreme measures to try to boost our self-esteem. Writing can do that for you—help you improve your self-esteem with ease. Instead of going out and taking loans to spend on clothes, cars, and material things, you can just take a pen and paper, which probably does not cost a dime, to help boost your self-esteem and pour your heart into words.
  • It’s therapeutic: Look at writing as a therapy session. It’s like you are in a room with a therapist and she’s just there listening to you with no interruptions. You do know how you let it all out in the therapy room, right? Those tears you shed, and how they made you feel? Try that in writing. It is proven to be the best therapeutic tool for your mental health. You might not be a “great” writer like most of us, but just be honest with yourself. Watch your mental health improve as you jot down your thoughts and feelings on paper.

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Strategies to get you writing.

You can utilize the following strategies to start your path to healing through writing:

  • As I also mentioned, the magic is in the actual act of writing. It does not help to think and wish that you could write. A daily goal of two to three paragraphs is achievable, and that’s probably less than 20 minutes.
  • Make sure the setting you write in is comfortable enough to allow you to think clearly. A climed room will impair your ability to reason. Make sure you keep it clean and simple.

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Conclusion

You know, the great thing about writing is that you get to discover yourself and how you think. People make self-discovery out to be this majestic, unattainable discovery which requires ’12 steps to self-discovery’, but in retrospect, it’s quite a simple phenomenon. 
There are many ways to self-discovery, and one of those is through writing. As you write, you get to experience yourself, heal those broken cracks inside of you, and fully transition into your honest self. And the more you do that, the more you get closer to who you are, and that leads to wholeness. Write as many times as you want and see yourself transform.


Please give me some love in the comments because ‘the girl’ has been away for a long time now. 
Let me know what you have gained through writing or simply journaling your thoughts out. Also, do not forget to subscribe to or follow my blog. I, too, will subscribe back.

From my heart to yours

Cheers!!!

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