So often in this crazy, busy, and hectic modern world, we find ourselves seemingly trapped in our own minds. Our thoughts, although fleeting, can feel as though they’re shooting across our awareness at a million miles per hour and it can be hard on our mental health.
However, one of the most popular forms of therapy to combat this and to help better your mental health is writing. Writing has always been known as a fantastic therapy, but how does it actually help? Today, we’re going to find out.
What Is a Writing Practice?
Of course, we’re talking about ‘writing’, but so we’re on the same page as to what is actually meant by a ‘writing practice’, I mean taking the time to write, preferably every single day, about the things going on in your life, the emotions and feelings you have and just getting everything that’s going on in your head down onto paper.
“You can do this by writing by hand, writing on a computer, writing bullet points or thousand-word entries. It doesn’t really matter how you write; the important bit to remember is that you’re actually going through the practice of writing down what’s going on in your mind” explains Amy Crane, a health blogger at Draft Beyond and Researchpapersuk.
When you’re doing it on a regular basis, this is a writing practice!
The Three Types of Mental Health Writing
Generally speaking, there are three main ways in which you can use writing, or journaling, to better your mental health, whether they’re exploring how they feel, making themselves feel better, or discovering who they are within. These are as follows;
1. The first is to express gratitude
This is a great practice to follow if you’re depressed or find it hard to find happiness in your everyday life since you’re actively looking for things that make you happy. Perhaps you’re grateful for a text a friend sent you today, or the company of your pet. Writing these things down can help you become more mindful of them and will slowly train your brain to look for the more positive things in your life.
This will start to better your mental health, change your outlook on life and can bring so much more fulfilment to your daily life. Even things you may be taking negatively, perhaps something negative has happened, you can still be grateful this event happened because of the lessons it would have taught you.
2. The second is exploring yourself
Whether you’re dealing with toxic emotions, hard and difficult feelings, or you’re just thinking about thoughts, and you can’t make sense of them, writing them down can be a fantastic way to help you explore what these feelings and emotions are, and give you the opportunity to truly understand what you’re going through.
“We’ve all been in the position of lying in bed at night with a million thoughts racing through our minds, but these thoughts can be fleeting, and it can be so hard to keep up with them all. Instead, writing them down can help you understand them visually. You can dive into what is causing these emotions, asking why you feel the way you do, and maybe become aware of any feelings you didn’t know where even there” shares Lisa Harper, a freelance writer at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting.
The more understanding of yourself you have, the better your mental health will be.
3. The third approach to writing is dealing with situations outside of yourself
You may want to write down future goals you have and the things you want to achieve, which is a great idea if you feel aimless, lost, and unsure of what to focus on. What’s more, you can write about past events or possible obstacles you’re currently facing.
Just like the points above, the more understanding you have of these events and how you feel towards them, the easier it is to process, the more mindful you can be, and the better equipped you’ll be to make the right decisions that can take you into the future to be the best, happiest, and most fulfilled version of yourself.
Most people will choose to mix up the three approaches, but you can incorporate these kinds of writing practices into your life; however, you want. It’s all about finding what works best for you and gets the best results. If you’ve never tried anything like this before, try writing for five minutes every day for a week and see how you feel.
I guarantee it’s something you’ll want to stick with.