Writing can be used as a form of therapy. Research has shown that through writing, you can work through your thoughts and emotions. It helps you find better ways of expressing yourself. You do not have to be a writer to benefit from writing as anyone can do it. All you need to have is a medium you can use for writing.
What is writing therapy?
Writing therapy is where you write to get therapeutic benefits. It is also called journaling therapy and can be done individually or in a group with guidance from a professional. It is a low-cost type of therapy that is easily accessible.
Writing therapy has been used to treat several conditions and mental illnesses including the following:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Grief and loss
- Interpersonal relationship issues
- Low self-esteem
- Eating disorders
- Communication issues
Writing therapy can be used to help you boost your creativity, grow and get more control over your life. Anyone can start writing and enjoy the benefits explained below.
Mental benefits of writing therapy?
- Writing can boost your memory. By writing down your daily thoughts, you can remember things clearly which can help you in different ways.
- If you experienced a traumatic event, writing can help in your recovery. Expressive writing, where you write down what happened and the feelings you had or have, can help you become emotionally stronger.
- Writing can help you have a better outlook on life. You can start viewing things from a new perspective. You can also handle challenges in a better way as you will see the positive aspect instead of focusing on the negative things.
- You can boost your creativity through writing. This is because you will be able to see things in a different light. An improved point of view means you will have improved ideas.
Physical benefits of writing therapy?
- Writing can boost your immune system since you will be more relaxed. However, this can only be achieved when you write on a regular basis.
- Studies show that patients with asthma and arthritis who started therapy writing had better evaluations regarding their illnesses. When you are in a good mood, your body will not be under any stress and will have the strength to heal better. This translates to fewer health complaints.
How can you start therapeutic writing?
Now that you have read the benefits, you might be wondering whether you can start writing therapy and when you can do it. Anyone can write. However, writing therapy is not recommended for those suffering from severe depression, PTSD or those who have experienced a traumatic event. It can make you open deep wounds and hinder your healing process. For this reason, those suffering from these conditions need to get proper guidance from the therapist before starting to write.
If you want to get started on therapeutic writing, you can follow these simple steps.
- Create time. You need to create time to write. It might not be an entire day but a few minutes at either the beginning or end of your day. If you do this a few times a week, then you are on the right track.
- Look for your method. There is no method that works for everyone. You need to figure out what works for you. It could be pen and paper, an anonymous blog or your own blog, voice notes and any medium you can think of.
- Have a writing place. Once you have identified your method, you need to create a writing space. That is the place you will be doing most of your writing. Look for a place that gives you the most peace and preferably, ensure the place is quiet so you can concentrate better on your thoughts.
- Don’t do any edits. Writing can only be therapeutic if it is not censored. That means you do not need to edit your thoughts. It can only work if you are honest and pour all your feelings into your words.
- Read your work. You should read your work though not immediately. You need to go through your work and see how you have grown. It will help you monitor your progress. If you are reading your work, does it after you have made that day’s entry. That way, you will not influence your future writing.
Now that you have read the benefits of writing therapy and learned how you can get started, it is up to you to take action. Remember, all you need is to start and let your words flow.