Happiness is all around us hiding itself in the smallest details. However, one would agree that once we step into sadness, sometimes it can grab us and stick both too hard and for too long. Sometimes we find ourselves highly stressful, irritated, frustrated or disappointed. There are moments when we even end up in those dark places where everything seems too depressed to be solved. So, the first good news about writing is that you can do it everywhere and at any time. Itâs like that pen is always waiting to meet with your fingers and the blank paper is always ready to embrace anything you have to say.
How It Works?
Even though therapeutic writing will not replace psychological therapy, itâs still a good measure to give a try to reduce your anxiety. Also, it increases the level of creativity. Journaling requires the application of the analytical, rational left side of the brain; while your left hemisphere is occupied, your right hemisphere (the creative side) is given the freedom to wander and play (Grothaus, 2015).
What writing can do for you:
âą Boost your mood;
âą Enhance your sense of well-being;
âą Reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam);
âą Reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma;
âą Improve your working memory (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005).
American therapist Elizabeth Sullivan describes writing as âspeaking to another consciousness â âthe readerâ or another part of the self. We come to know who we really are in the present moment.â
There are many ways to use writing for your better self-consciousness and relaxation.
Here are 3 techniques:
- Free writing. Donât limit yourself and write anything whatâs on your mind. It doesnât have to be grammatically perfect or something that you would want to read to someone else. Just spit it all out on a paper and see what happens.
- Pen poetry. Here are some ideas from one of the books of John Fox, a certified poetry therapist, that describes the power of poetry:
â Make a list of images from your childhood. Pick the ones that have positive memories;
â Describe your emotions associated with these images, such as âwonder about flightâ or âlove and sadness for the hurt of a creature”;
â Eventually, write a poem using the details youâve collected.
E. Sullivan suggested writing your poetry in a very small notebook, on the bus or train.
- Letter writing. Try composing a letter to someone you love and let him or her know what really weighs your heart. You can also do it in contrary and write to a person who has hurt your feelings, gave you a hard time or maybe is continuing to do so. Remember that you donât have to send the letters. The goal is for you to gain a clearer understanding of your own thoughts and feelings about the person and, inevitably, yourself.
If you’re still struggling to start, consider the WRITING concept at its deepest. To do so, try followingÂ the five steps to WRITE:
WÂ â What do you want to write about? Name it.
RÂ â Review or reflect on it. Close your eyes, take deep breaths, and focus.
IÂ â Investigate your thoughts and feelings.
TÂ â Time yourself. Write for 5 to 15 minutes straight.
EÂ â Exit “smart”. Re-read what you’ve written and reflect on it with one or two sentences.
Whichever method you choose, bear in mind that it’s only you who will read those words. In fact, even you don’t have to do that. The aim is to let it all out. And remember: writing can be a key to locking the door of sadness and opening the ones of happiness.
Why Poetry Is a Healing Tool
Another powerful soul healing tool is poetry which may be the most subtle yet intimate form of writing. You donât have to be a talented, prolific author to be able to create a piece of rhymed story coming from your heart. The only thing it requires is truth.
“I feel like I was going through so much and poetry gave me a voice. <…> I would have so many feelings that I felt like an overflowing sink, but I wouldnât know why. And poetry was like, well, youâre going to figure it out.”
That’s what a poet Rupi Kaur said when a journalist asked what she means by saying that poetry saved her life. She also says that when she published (by the way SELF-PUBLISHED) her first book “Milk and Honey” she didn’t expect anyone to actually read it. All those poems functioned as a cure for an aching heart and eventually helped many more people who read that. Besides, here we reach one more part â reading therapy, but let’s leave it to next time.
Both reading and writing poetry does a lot of things for human’s well-being. It makes working both the minds and the feelings, which results in a personal and unique piece of art. According to a writing coach and editor KM Barkley, writing poetry not only encourages us to brainstorm new ideas, but also has an impact on how we perceive the old ones. In addition to allowing us to express our feelings and emotions, it helps to get in touch with sentiments we might not have even known we had. Therefore, writing in this genre is definitely a way of analyzing the most secret parts of you inner-self.Â Poetry also improves the language, writing, and speaking skills. It streamlines the thoughts to short, direct sentences, and makes to write in lyrical style and rhyme using metaphors and comparisons.
There are many more reasons why writing can function as a healing tool and dramatically change the way we see the world and perceive ourselves. And there it is poetry â one of its tools which can strengthen your writing experiences. Once you try it, you will undoubtedly feel the power of both.
Who knows, maybe trusting writing therapy might even result in your first book?
Give yourself a helping hand,
writing can lead you straight to the peace of mind.