Social media gives everyone a public-sounding box when they’re struggling. Sometimes, venting in a post makes you feel better. However, top-notch self-care is keeping some things in your life private. Writing has some therapeutic benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. Psychologists have implemented written exercises as a tool for years.
When you have a bad day or feel negative about something, writing about it can benefit you. Keeping a journal can help manage emotions and offers an opportunity for reflection. You can look back on an entry and see if you learned from your mistakes. Writing in a journal lets you see how much you’ve grown over time. Older entries may even give you a good laugh if you were melting down over something minor in the past. Journals offer a source of strength to see the challenges you overcame. We see how much we change when we read our own content of past struggles. If you’re struggling with something to write, you can look up some journal prompts.
Today, when you search self-help workbooks on Amazon or other online retailers, many results appear. Unlike a typical personal growth book, a workbook is also called a “discovery journal.” When you search Amazon, you’ll see labels “Therapist Recommended.” Titles feature a range of journeys you can take to work out issues in life. There are self-discovery journals for couples, children, teens, and everyone else. If you’re struggling with motivation or negative emotions, try a workbook. You’ll find one with the “write” exercises for you with numerous choices. Those in therapy can even find a guide to track the progress of their sessions. With a range of prices, those on a budget can purchase a pocket or ebook.
For deep-rooted issues, it’s best to seek professional therapy because you likely won’t be able to write it out. Some counselors have writing or expressive therapy sessions structured for groups or individuals. Participation can also be facilitated through an online program. The therapeutic benefits of writing therapy are to relieve stress and gain self-control. After the thoughts are logged, patients look at their struggles with their counselor.
Studies show that you strengthen not only your mind but also your immune system by writing. Research on cancer patients shows that expressive writing may have potential benefits. If you’re struggling with a chronic illness and aren’t a writer, there are other books. Dr. John Inzerillo, an oncologist, wrote Passion Beyond Pain. This guide can help anyone facing a physical or mental health condition. Even if you feel you can’t write, the idea is to jot thoughts down on paper. You keep the content private where only you can see it.
Writing provides a great outlet to log experiences, emotions, and observations. You can write in a notebook or type out what’s on your mind. You can have a personal blog and keep it private or store the file on your computer. Once you get into a groove and habit, the words will flow out of you; and you’ll feel better.
Tell us whether you find writing therapeutic. How often do you write or journal? Would you recommend this exercise for others? We’d love to hear about your experience.