Like many creative endeavors, poetry, keeping a journal, and other types of creative writing are activities many of us engage in when we are younger but eventually put aside. Most of us know the power that good content writing has on businesses and for blogs. However, this is providing to put us at a disadvantage as an increasing number of studies show the therapeutic power of writing.
Expressive Writing As Therapy
Engaging in “free-writing,” or putting pen to paper and seeing where it takes you, allows individuals to become more aware of the thoughts that are running through their heads. When writing about events which are especially troubling and anxiety-inducing, it can give participants a way to make sense of the way certain experiences have affected their thought processes. If you’ve recently have gone through addiction treatment, writing could help you process the changes in your lifestyle and health. This activity can help the brain organize these thoughts in such a way that will promote long-term healing.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple writing exercise that absolutely anyone can partake in, regardless of your comfort level with writing. Studies have shown that individuals who take the time to write the things they are grateful for in a journal sleep better and report a wide range of psychological benefits. In addition to the short-term benefit of improved sleep, which is helpful when it comes to dealing with many different issues, those who engage in expressive writing also end up visiting the doctor less for stress-related conditions.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Unsurprisingly, expressive writing can be used as a powerful tool to help individuals who are experiencing post-traumatic stress. In the short term, writing can help with symptoms such as anger and anxious thoughts. However, in the long term, it can lead to an increased awareness of how to enact positive change in your life after traumatic events.
Writing Improves Memory
While we grow increasingly dependent on computers, more studies are showing us that the physical act of writing has a profound impact on our memory and learning. However, it goes beyond mere recall of specific facts. The act of writing engages motor pathways in the brain which enhances understanding of concepts and improves the overall health of your brain.
The benefits of creative writing aren’t just purely emotional either. Studies have shown that in addition to dealing with stress and depression, those who partake in expressive writing on a regular basis exhibit evidence of a wide range of benefits in the long term. These include improved overall mood, reduced blood pressure, and even improved liver and lung function.
The Therapeutic Power Of Writing
The therapeutic power of writing is not something to be underestimated. In fact, this idea is actually gaining momentum, and there are expressive writing therapists who focus on this practice specifically. One of the advantages of expressive writing is the fact that it’s so inexpensive – all you need is paper and a pen!