There are lots of ways writing helps us heal. Let’s face it, we all suffer from setbacks, disappointments, heartbreaks, and loss. What is important is having tools that help us to get through suffering and hopefully come out stronger in the face of adversity. Talk therapy can be an effective way of working through our issues, but not all of us can afford therapy and not everyone is comfortable sharing their lives with strangers. Writing is a great tool to have in our back pocket, when sadness and hardships get in the way of our happiness. Below are 11 ways writing helps us heal.
1. Focus on the Events
When something happens that hurts or disappoints us, focusing on the events leading up to and following the disappointment can help us to see what went wrong and even make changes that might prevent the incident from happening again. This is one of the best ways writing helps us heal.
2. Recognize Our Feelings
Sometimes when we suffer a hardship, we stuff our feelings or simply don’t recognize how the incident is affecting our behavior. Writing and reading what we have written can help us get in touch with our feelings about the issue.
3. Express Our Feelings
Writing can be a safe way of expressing our feelings when we are not ready to make ourselves vulnerable by sharing them with others.
4. Release Anger
Pent up anger can become toxic to ourselves and those around us. Writing allows us to release the anger we feel without holding it in or lashing out.
5. Organize Thoughts
When bad things happen, there are often many events, people and feelings involved. Writing down what occurred, who the key players were, and the reactions of everyone involved can aid you in remembering important details, organizing and making sense of the situation.
6. Process Events
Writing about hardship or loss can help us process our feelings, determine what we would like to have been different, and figure out how we can facilitate a different outcome in the future.
7. Reduce Stress
Expressing our feelings about a bad situation on paper can release our negative feelings and reduce any stress or anxiety that we may be experiencing.
8. Find the Positive
Writing about difficult circumstances or events and making a list of anything positive that might come of the situation can help put it into perspective, reducing negativity and feelings of hopelessness.
9. Promote Healing
Similar to talking about them, writing about our feelings of sadness, anger, frustration or helplessness during difficult situations, can be a healthy way of releasing unhappy thoughts and beginning the process of healing.
10. Facilitate Forgiveness
Whether it is forgiving ourselves or others, getting our feelings out on paper can lead the way to releasing pain and facilitating forgiveness for those who have wronged us.