I am not a therapist, a licensed psychologist, or even a psych major. I do not even have diagnosed anxiety or depression. I deal with the same anxieties, brought about by simply being human and living in this world, that everyone deals with, but I have found a way to deal with those struggles that works absolute wonders for me and might work absolute wonders for you as well.
I will not claim this as a healing practice or an end all be all, and I am sure it is not the first time you are hearing of writing or journaling as a form of therapy or mechanism of self care. As a writing intensive English major, writing is a big part of my life. However, over the years it has turned into so much more than just a passion.
Writing Helps Me Put My Feelings Into Words
There are days where I feel a type of way that I cannot describe as anything but "off." There is a dark cloud hanging over my head; I am simply not myself. When I am feeling this way, when I cannot assign a name or reason to how I am feeling, I take a pen to some paper. As silly as it may sound, it is as if all my feelings and emotions are jumbled into a word search in my mind and the only way to pick the feelings out from the mess is with pen and paper. My mind is a mess of things and writing allows me to make sense of that mess.
Writing Gets Those Feelings Out of My Head
As much as I wish this were true, writing my feelings out on paper does not immediately remove all of the unwanted thoughts from my head. However, there is something incredibly healing about seeing that mess of thoughts I previously mentioned in words, forming sentences on a piece of paper.
It's similar to the feeling you get when something is weighing heavily on your mind and you let it out to your mom or your best friend. You feel a little bit lighter knowing the feeling is not being restrained within you, it is no longer only yours to carry. There are times when a living, breathing listener is needed to really help a situation, but when that is not the case, a journal is the perfect keeper, the perfect carrier of your burdens. No judgement, no loose lips, just an outlet and some safekeeping.
Writing Helps Me Keep Track of Myself
Although I have made it seem like I only write about the darkest nooks and crannies of my mind, I do a great deal of writing about good days, things I'm thankful for, and the rest of my very good life. There is nothing I love more than looking back at the good times in my life on a bad day to remind me that life was good and life will continue to be good.
It is just as helpful to look back at an entry from a bad day to remind myself of things that no longer bother me, bad days that I no longer remember and all the positive changes I have undergone.
My journals are a written version of all my good and bad days; a little piece of the past to help me with the future.
Writing Is My Creative Outlet
Here I am, writing about writing on the platform that allows me to best exert my creative energy. No matter who you are or how much creativity you believe you do or do not possess, we all have creative energy that needs an outlet. For some people it is painting or playing a musical instrument. For me, it is writing. Writing challenges me, it surprises me, it inspires me, and it allows me to express myself in a way that fulfills and excites me. As a creative outlet, it is not for everyone, but if you have yet to find one, it is definitely worth a try.
I understand that the power of writing will vary from person to person. What it does for me it may not do for you. However, it may just be the tool you have been searching for, so why not try it out.