Do you write?
I do not mean texting or typing on a computer or mobile device, I mean a real pen or pencil and paper kind of stuff. If this is not a practice that you use, 2018 is a great year to start and there a benefits to beginning this practice.
Writing allows us to visually see what we are thinking about or stuck on; what thoughts and fears are holding us captive and not allowing us to enjoy life to the fullest. It can help uncover what we’re stressed about and give insight into the why behind the worry. We can think things out on paper and weigh if it warrants the energy we are giving to it.
Writing can also be a very cathartic release and mental practice as it allows our minds to organize and prioritize our mismanaged thoughts, gain a sense of reason to our often unrealistic fears or worries, and can rewind and find the cause to our worries and anxiety.
Many times we are able to see that our reaction is very disproportionate to the situation.
Often I work with people who tell me that they just cannot get out of their own heads and they don’t know why they are so anxious or worried. Now writing does not have to be a “dear diary” moment; it can be the mere task of writing down what you are thinking about, the good, the bad, goals, tasks that you need to get done, anything that will help you gather your thoughts and quiet your own mind.
Writing is also a great time management and organization tool that you can use to structure your week. At the end of the day or week, whichever feels best for you, you can look back on your writings from that time and see how much you have gotten accomplished and how productive you have been. If you are like me, that is something that I need to see in order for me to feel that I have made good use of my time. Writing is portable and rather inexpensive. You can pick up a pencil, pen and moleskin (my go to) or notebook that fits in your pocket, backpack or purse. It does not need to be charged, have service or uploaded to your device. The simple act of writing is something that is so basic and simplistic yet has so many mental health benefits!
The Takeaway: Get a little notepad and pen to keep in a purse/backpack, car, or desk and just write in it a few times this week when you’re struggling with something. At the end of the week re-read your thoughts and see if it has given any clarity to your concerns.