3 Ways Writing is Emotionally Healing

Want to become your own therapist? The torch is in your words

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Our thoughts become our biggest burden if they start conflicting with each other. Does it happen often? You tell me. For me, yes! For you, It is happening right now when you know the answer and still looking for an exceptional case.

The thoughts will fight each other so hard inside your groovy head that you won’t have the energy to come up with a conclusion.

I loved writing since primary school. That was the time I came to know that mastering English can make you a literate person. It is not the complete view, but it gives you the edge to talk to people where the language barrier becomes an issue.

The benefits of writing are so non-exhaustive that even people who aren’t professional writers can relate to it. Because let’s face it, you all have written long essays in your school, whether you memorised it or spontaneous. Which one was more fun while writing? The recited piece probably would’ve gotten you better marks, but spontaneous writing is the one you enjoyed at the moment, right?

Here are three reasons why writing is emotionally healing. Depending on how long you write, whom you write and the underlying purpose, the satisfaction strikes at different levels.

1. Riding emotions on paper instead of people

I created a written proposal for my crush instead of saying it to her face-to-face. I did not send it because I got the rejection vibe from her ( she told me ). I was so angry [at myself] I created another follow-up letter, the one you say to get the closure.

Before archiving it deep into my computer, I talked to a guy friend who had gone through a similar phase. He told me how terrible the idea is to spend all your heart to say something, then finding out the person on the receiving end doesn’t feel a thing.

I prevented myself from going through an awkward conversation with her. We are good friends ( could be better ) now, but I can clearly see my condition when I wrote it whenever I still see that letter.

2. You become an observer of thoughts; instead of letting them control you

When I started my first job, I was worried about how I would manage my finances.

The job I thought would be my ideal professional life soon started to get out of hand. I couldn’t get quality sleep, recovery from workouts and rare talks with family.

I had so much going on in my life that I gave a chance to therapy. I did consult a therapist in college, and the experience was good. When I went to a therapist this time, the journey was even better. I became mature enough to ask for help when I needed it.

The first thing a therapist says is to have a thought diary. There you write down the trigger situations that made you take specific actions. It has four columns:

  • situation
  • thought
  • behaviour
  • feedback

It is the same as writing the closure letter and reading it in future. Only this time, it is more detailed because we are trying to find out what went wrong in our thought patterns.

To my surprise realisation, I found that we always act out of emotion, especially when we don’t sleep on an idea and blurt it out in public, only to regret it later.

Having a thought diary showed me how we could let our thoughts guide us in taking wise decision instead of acting out on them instantaneously.

3. You take your life stories with you

Imagine you start writing today on a platform like Medium every day. You are nearly 21 years old. When you are 80 and still sustain this habit, your grandkids will hear stories about you and even tell their friends about it because you have it all down in words.

Nearly 21900 ( 60 x 365 ) stories about you, your life lessons, what you did apart from writing since you started writing and how many people you helped with or without knowing.

Writing gives wings to your stories, only if you want to fly.

I have heard my friends say, “I want the world to hear my story”. This is how I am doing it. One day I will look back at these stories with a hard-hit nostalgia.

Final words

You will pursue a habit only when you experience the benefits first hand. Not from an influencer’s words, not my words and definitely not your parents and friends.

I published the first blog on Medium when it was compulsory to complete an online course. The emotional healing part came into play when I went to therapy, and my therapist told me to maintain a thought diary.

I have discussed my thought pattern with him for 8 months. I came to a realisation that thoughts don’t control you once they are out in words. You really see them for what they are — something you can control with patience when you understand what they mean when you put them in words or talk to someone about it.

If I can get my thoughts to control the way I want, you can do it too.

Sanjeev is a mentor at Udacity who writes about mental health, productivity, fitness lifestyle, and mindfulness in his off-work time. When he is not clearing students’ doubts or grading projects, he is burning fuel either in a workout or playing badminton.



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