Did it ever happen to you that your thoughts and feelings turned into a whirlwind and you ended up stressed and confused?
Putting your ideas and emotions on paper without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or spelling provides a sense of relief and clarity.
Once on paper, you can see what your worries, concerns, and fears are.
This is one of the many ways that writing can make you happy.
How Can Writing Benefit the Writer?
Bottling up our emotions can have adverse effects on our mental and physical health as the stress will accumulate in our body.
Many authors expressed the positive effects of writing about their experiences or questions.
Just to name a few:
Stephen King in his book On Writing tells the story about being run over by a car and the difficult and painful rehabilitation. He chose to focus on writing and telling his story, which helped with his recovery.
Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat, Pray, Love recounts her traumatic divorce and her search for pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and a balance between the two in Indonesia.
Michelle Obama, in her book Becoming shares that she started a journal to figure out “Where I want my life to go. What kind of person do I want to be? How do I want to contribute to the world?” She picked up this habit from Barak Obama who viewed writing as therapeutic and clarifying and had kept journals on and off over the years.
Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci used to keep a journal to jot down ideas, thoughts, and experiences.
You don’t have to be a writer to benefit from writing.
Journaling Toward Happiness
Instead of reaching for your phone, TV remote control, or snack, grab a pen and a notebook when you need a break.
Writing can lessen anxiety and stress if you write about difficult experiences.
Writing helps you to think, organize your thoughts, and accomplish important tasks.
Here are some ideas to get you started. You may write about:
- Past experiences that you are still trying to understand
- Goals you want to achieve
- Expectations for yourself and others
- Worries and fears that repeat in your life
- Questions about the past, present, or future
- Interests you would like to explore
- Difficult decisions you are thinking about
- Everything you are grateful for
If you can’t think about anything, write about that. Keep the pen moving and you will be surprised by what shows up on the paper.
10 Ways Writing Can Make You Happy
Writing affects your happiness and well-being in the following ways:
1 – It Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Writing helps you process your emotions and thoughts. Expressive writing helps you think critically and address a situation with deeper understanding.
Journal writing helps you vent and effectively cope with the ups and downs of life.
You may keep track of what triggers your emotions and what provides relief.
Reflecting on this information will help you limit or better manage the triggers and provide more opportunities for relief.
Here are additional strategies to go from overwhelmed to happy.
2 – It Promotes Emotional Intelligence
Writing can make you happy by enhancing your emotional intelligence. Moreover, jotting down your feelings helps you make sense of your emotions.
In addition, you may remember helpful quotes or advise you received in the past or engage in positive self-talk.
Here you can find guidance in how to use positive self-talk for happiness and success.
3 – It Enhances Your Communication Skills
Journaling is communicating with yourself in writing. You can ask and answer questions, give examples, justify, and analyze your actions.
Furthermore, it helps you to articulate your ideas accurately and concisely. As a result, you are able to improve not only how you communicate with yourself but also with others.
4 – It Helps You Set and Achieve Goals
Journal writing about your goals helps you gain clarity about where you are and where you want to go. As a result, it increases your chances of succeeding because it helps you to think through difficulties and chart an action plan.
Jack Canfield recommends writing your goals down and posting them in a visible place.
Writing all your goals down everyday in the morning and at night is Grant Cardone’s advice to keep your goals fresh in your mind.
Hal Elrod advises to write about your goals every morning. You should analyze and reflect on your motivation, progress, next steps, and how to overcome challenges.
Writing and working on your goals will increase your feelings of happiness.
Here you can learn how working on your goals can make you happy.
5 – It Increases Empathy
When you are upset or angry with someone, write down your concerns, disappointments, and complaints. Don’t hold back. Don’t be polite. Just get it all out.
Then, write from the other person’s point of view.
Why do you think the other person acted that way? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Once you have the two opposite points of view on paper, you will be able to understand better the situation.
6– It Promotes Problem Solving Skills
Writing is a great problem-solving tool. In addition, jotting down a problem you want to solve allows you to explore possible solutions. It helps you to think through difficult decisions and gain clarity, which increases happiness.
You can brainstorm all the possible solutions to the problem and the more you write, the more alternatives will come to your mind.
7 – It Makes You More Creative
Writing can make you happy because it tends to boost creativity. It enables you to explore and discover new or hidden ideas and solutions, which optimizes your creative potential.
While writing down your problems, your mind will start working on possible solutions and you will come up with creative solutions you had not considered before.
8 – It Helps Process Emotions
Writing helps you make sense of your emotions. What’s more, it helps you identify negative patterns and find relief.
If you consistently write everyday about how you feel, you will discover patterns of situations that put you in a good or bad mood.
You may discover that every Sunday afternoon you feel sad without any apparent reason. Writing will help focus your attention on what you experience, do, and think on Sundays.
With this information you may change your routine toward activities that lift up your mood.
9 – It Increases Self-Awareness
Writing is a great way to express and evaluate yourself.
It allows you to assess situations honestly. What’s more, writing objectively increases optimism and personal accountability. It gives you insights and encouragement.
10 – It Boosts Memory
Expressive writing tends to improve memory and comprehension. Furthermore, writing about events in your life gives more permanence to fleeting events. Writing can make you happy because it tends to increase working memory capacity.
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can make you happy.
What is your experience with expressive writing, journaling, or writing in general? Let me know in the comments below.
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