Why Writing Heals

Good writing doesn’t only support your business. It supports your healthy, balanced and expressive life.

It’s true: journaling has shown to support emotional health, personal intelligence and it can affect the way we approach our life long term.

Personally, writing in my journal has been a critical step toward easing my hyper mind and busy personality. And it’s undoubtedly helped; I experience less anxiety and I’ve grown into a calmer, more centered individual.

Of course, there’s another bonus: people who write often, write better and consequently accomplish more.

If you’ve never considered journaling, scribbling down your thoughts, or simply putting a pen to paper, here are three reasons why I think you should today:

1. Writing reveals what’s under the surface

Every time my pen hits the paper, I have no idea what to expect. Some days, the words come easily and my stream of consciousness is filled with joy, gratitude, and wonder with the world.

Other days, I have to push through the hesitation to write. And usually, once I get there – my words reveal the fear, anxiety, and uneasiness that lives beneath the surface.

Think about it: how often do you go through your day without ever considering how you feel? Sure, you may recognize the days when you feel extremely up or extremely down. But do you ever take the time to consider why you feel that way?

Writing helps you do just that. By carving out time—even if it’s only for five to ten minutes—you give yourself permission to check in with what’s going on inside. The result is a paper filled with the thoughts, dreams, and reactions that live within your mind, heart, and soul.

Now, what you do with these words is where the healing happens.

2. Writing regularly helps you recognize patterns

When I’m feeling happy and at ease, I tend to find more gratitude in my writing. I say things like, “I’m so thankful for a body that moves me” or “I’m grateful for a husband who makes me laugh.”

I can clearly see how my happiness is affected by the ability to recognize life’s abundance.

When I’m feeling weighed down or anxious, you can bet my writing is negative and filled with reasons to feel sorry for myself. I may say things like, “Why can’t I just love myself?” or “Do I know what I want?” or the notorious “I need to find my purpose.”

Can you see what’s happening here? I”m focusing on not being good enough instead of admiring the things I’m grateful to have.

Following your thoughts through words will show you how even a little shift from gratitude to desire can ruin your whole approach to life. Once you discover and follow the patterns, you can harness the power of shifting perspective.

We’re the only ones in control of our happiness, and writing forces you to confront this truth.

3. Writing helps you move forward

Writing out a traumatic experience, in a safe, authentic, and candid way, can be one of the most healing actions. According to Heidi Koschwanez, a co-author for a study on how writing heals mental and physical wounds, “Many people who have written about their negative experiences report that it allowed them to gain greater insight into what happened and to put the event into perspective.”

By simply translating your thoughts, feelings, and behavior into words, writing guides you through the motions of healing.

You may find anger, sadness, and resentment in your writing at first. But as time goes on and you continue to write about your experience, you’ll find yourself gaining more empathy, forgiveness, and surrender. And nothing is more healing than releasing the anger that grips your heart.

Start today

Now that you know the benefits of journaling, like revealing emotions, recognizing patterns, and finally moving forward, it’s time to put your knowledge into play.

Unfortunately, there’s no guidebook on writing for yourself. Each person must find their own individual path toward soulful composition.

The only rule is this: start today.

Go and find a journal (it’s even better if you can repurpose something you already have), your favorite pen or pencil, and sit down in a quiet space. Don’t think, don’t analyze, and don’t plan a thing. Simply put your pen to paper and let the words flow—unedited, uninhibited.

Then, close your journal and let go. Tomorrow, show up and burn bright again. Your healing will inevitably follow.