Writing is not only a great art. It’s an activity that can help improve your mental health and deal with issues like depression, anxiety, and emotional trauma. Everyone can write in one way or another, so this type of simple therapy is something you definitely should do if you feel like you need some help. Whether you choose to write a fictional tale or start keeping a journal, the benefits are guaranteed.
5 Ways in Which Writing Helps Improve Your Mental Health
- Writing helps reduce stress and process trauma.
According to Harvard Medical School, writing about emotions helps cope with them. The technique is called expressive writing and requires you to literally ‘put your feelings down on paper’. This helps you process emotions caused by severe trauma and mental health issues.
- Writing declutters your head.
Writing down your thoughts helps organize them within your mind and ‘free up’ the space for new ones. This particular benefit also helps shape your ideas because you will have to think them over in more detail to write them down in a coherent manner.
- Writing boosts your happiness.
The effect of writing depends on what exactly you write (Society for Personality and Social Psychology). Writing about life goals and describing your best future self can increase the levels of happiness and self-satisfaction.
- Writing can help you understand yourself.
Another benefit from the fact that you process your emotions when transferring them to paper is that you get to understand them better. This is an important part of therapy for any mental health issues because seeing oneself and one’s motivations clearly is an essential step for recovery. More importantly, this understanding allows you to predict and control your actions in the future.
- Writing boosts your problem-resolution skills.
Understanding of the issue, be it a faulty plan at work or emotional trauma helps you find the exact point or points that need to be fixed. Writing down, rereading, and analyzing the issue anew should help you resolve it faster.
How to Use Writing to Improve Your Mental Health
As you can see, writing is a powerful tool for mental healing. And one of its main strengths lies in its versatility. You can use it in many different ways to improve in specific areas.
- Start journaling if you want to understand yourself better and deal with emotions.
It’s not imperative to write every day, unless your therapist advises that. However, you should write about your thoughts, feelings and experiences whenever you are in turmoil. You might need to make an effort to start writing and push yourself through it, especially if you are processing some negative emotion.
- Write plans to get some structure in your head.
When you want to improve your problem resolution skills or boost your work productivity, you should write down your ideas and turn them into plans. For example, how would you go about building a flying car? You don’t need to have a working model of the vehicle by the end of it. The point of the exercise is to teach you to think about essential details.
- Write fiction to process difficult situations.
If you can’t make sense of personal feelings and journaling doesn’t seem to work, try to write a story. This can help you understand social situations better as you’ll be processing them through interactions of your characters. It’s also a good project to take your mind off stressful things.
- Try free writing if you have trouble starting with this activity at all. Simply put on paper everything that goes through your head. Reread and reflect on it when you are done. You should include this writing session into your daily schedule so you have no excuse to skip. This will help you develop a habit and with time your writing should become more coherent so you’ll be able to switch to different forms.
- Write letters to yourself and others if you want to work on your interpersonal relationships. This form of one-sided communication will help you gain perspective and understanding of how others might see you. This can also be a very helpful tool for dealing with grief.
Alex Gordon is an experienced Bid4Papers writer who loves his profession and has an interest in psychology. He is dedicated to helping others overcome their personal struggles and is happy to share his passion for the method that worked miracles for him.