Writing for Well-Being

Namaste!

This simple word means Hello in India, but around the globe it says so much more. It has an automatic way for bringing a sense of calm with it, that the person who says it is happy and content and wishes that for you. Maybe this is because I usually hear it when I am at Yoga, yet wherever I am, the moment that word is in my ears, I start to relax.

Hopefully, you are relaxed now reading this blog, I’ve just finished a quick spot on local radio about the benefit of singing, I’m not a singer by any means, I leave that to my eldest, but I am fascinated with the benefits that writing can bring out, when I realised, this is part of what I coach and mentor but I have never done a blog about.

So, here it goes. There is a generally accepted consensus that creativity is a great outlet for stress and anxiety and that writing can be therapeutic.

Journalling, is what as a kid we called ‘keeping a diary’ it’s a way to record what and how we are feeling that is usually something we keep to ourselves, so there is no judgement. It’s a tool to gain control over out emotions, we let rip on the paper, so we don’t on people. This cathartic action can be cleansing.

  • It can reduce stress, so much that there is evidence saying that just twenty minutes a day can lower you blood pressure and improve liver function!
  • It can improve your immune system, by increasing the production of Immunoglobulin A, which helps to fight infection.
  • It can boost your memory and comprehension leading to improved cognitive processing, which is the tool we use to to understand and manipulate a memory. You want to cook a meal, you buy the ingredients, you follow a recipe or cook from one you know well, you prepare and serve the meal, that is cognitive processing.
  • Ask an author how they feel after writing, and they will say good, even if they lack confidence in the work, the act of writing makes them feel alive.

The more you journal these benefits become long term, helping to build your identity, restore and emotional balance and build self-confidence. You can use it to allay your fears and concerns and look at them from a slight distance, providing a new perspective. You can become self-aware of anything negative and it provides a safe space for you to question yourself. It allows you the opportunity to grow and become more adaptive, a place away from the chaos outside.

TIP: Try writing every day in a journal for 15-20 minutes and see how you feel after a few months.

You can join me every weekday for a writing sprint and use that time to journal and write your morning pages.
But, it’s not just journalling that is beneficial.

Writing creatively whether its stories, poetry or scripts can positively impact us without realising. Hoorah! There is this stereotypical image of a writer stressed and pulling their hair out, yes, we can all certainly hold are hand up to having days like that, but honestly, they are the minority, otherwise we would give up! I‘ll let you into a secret, it’s not usually the writing that causes the stress, it is the editing!

Let’s look at how fiction stories can help you.

  • Better conversational skills. While we may write on our own, we talk to our characters, and they talk to each other. Dialogue is important. Though writing dialogue for others (characters) we learn the importance of word choice, how what we say has to be said carefully, and what impact those words can have on the listener. Because of these we develop a new level of empathy for the power of words, how they can hurt or heal. Improved conversational skills then gives us better social skills, no more hiding in corner.
  • By providing a space to make more space! The page becomes a storage of all your thoughts, those flashes of inspiration you have, the delightful descriptions you design on seeing something memorable now have a place to go. Great, but that literally, clears up more space in your head, or at least improves memory, so you can remember more.
  • Like journalling, writing stories helps you see the bigger picture. You may be writing a scene that is familiar, an argument you have had for instance, writing it down between your characters will allow you see to see both sides of the story. WOW! You are now the best person to adjudicate those disputes, conflict resolution has nothing on a writer!
  • This may seem obvious, but it will improve your reading and writing and also your editing skills. You need to write a job application, no problem, a reference for someone else, easy! How about a blog post for work, simples! The more writing you do the more it becomes second nature, you are using muscles that need regular exercise, to see benefit in all areas. You will notice that you grammar and punctuation improve as you become more familiar with structure.
  • All those benefits of journalling as just as active here.!
  • When we finish a project we feel accomplished. We have achieved what e set out to do. That could be a 100 word story or a 90,000 word novel, but that feeling remains. It boosts your self-confidence in you as a person but also in you ability to write and meet a deadline; your self-esteem, it kicks in those happy-making endorphins,

I have more one question for you now…

What are you writing?

Follow me on Social media @thecoffeehousewriter or join email to join the mailing list to hear about the next Writing for Well-Being course.

Published by The Coffeehouse Writer

Writer of screen, stage and book. Yoga pants addict (they are so comfy!), occasional rum drinker, always a mum.

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