Whether you think you are a “good” writer or not, writing can be extremely beneficial for your mental health. It’s not about crafting the next great novel, it’s about honouring your thoughts and feelings. Here are 5 reasons why you should be writing for your mental health:
- Personal expression. As an outlet for private offloading, you can’t beat writing. As long as you keep the document secure, you can write to your heart’s content and share without actually sharing. Rant away! You can come back to what you’ve written to analyse/laugh/cry about it another time. Or delete the file. Or burn the diary if that if how you are choosing to write. You can write a short story, a novel or a personal story, the possibilities are endless.
- A lasting record. If you don’t delete or burn your writing, you’ll have an amazing record of your life to look back on. Memories (good and bad) are useful to us for mental health in lots of ways. It could be a chance to reflect on when life wasn’t so great and see how far you’ve come or feel positive for the future, remembering happier times. Even the most mundane of days will be interesting to revisit in the future.
- Saying things you wouldn’t say verbally. You could write something you want to share; a letter to someone who needs to know how you are feeling, a blog post to the world to get your ideas out there. Putting your thoughts into words can be a release and a relief! Blogging is a wonderful way of sharing with others. It’s like an online diary. You can use a pseudonym so you have complete anonymity.
- Mindfulness. You can be “in the moment”, type or scrawl away with no other distractions. You can’t scroll through social media whilst writing about your day. It’s an escapism that offers a creative outlet and a chance to be you.
- Improved sleep. Writing down a list of things to do or offloading the stresses of the day before bedtime might help you sleep better. If you find yourself awake, full of worries and thoughts, maybe switching on the light and writing all that down will make you calm enough to drift off?
Do you find writing has improved your wellbeing? How do you feel when you write? How do you feel when you read your writing? Comment below to share your experiences (or write about it privately in your journal at home — we don’t mind, as long as you are writing!).
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