At one point or another, everyone has been told how writing your feelings down really helps to process them. Although this is a comment that’s often brushed off, mindful writing can be incredibly beneficial to your mental well-being. Whether you note your feelings down on frosted glass wipe boards before rubbing them away or keep exercise books full of your feelings, there’s something so cathartic about putting words to how you feel. From letting off steam to allowing you to pause and understand your feelings, mindful writing is incredibly powerful. Read on to discover more.
The Catharsis of Mindful Writing
The reason that mindful writing, or expressive writing, is so cathartic is that it allows you to heal. This is because you wholeheartedly express your deepest feelings and thoughts using the written word. Typically speaking, individuals approach mindful writing by telling the story of what has happened rather than their feelings about the situation.
Despite this, this is still extremely beneficial, as your emotions about a situation may change with time. Therefore, even recalling an event can help you assess your previous feelings and compare them to your current ones. Similarly, writing about a situation creates some distance, which can provide the clarity that’s often lacking when you’re in the situation.
The Science of Writing Your Feelings
Research has shown that writing and reflecting on our own stories allows us to change our perceptions of ourselves and recognize obstacles that stand in the way of emotional wellness. Not only does it allow us to decipher negative experiences, but it also means a burden is lifted from our shoulders. This is because incorporating feelings into the written narrative provides a sense of relief as they’re released from the heart and mind and onto the page.
There’s no need to share your writing with anyone else if you choose not to do so, but it allows you to free your mind of what’s burdening you.
Widening Your Perspective
In order to gain an understanding of the stories we carry, whether they be daily challenges or distressing events, mindful writing can be employed. Reduced blood pressure, less anxiety, improved mood, and overall greater well-being are just some of the psychological and emotional benefits of mindful writing.
Similarly, a strengthened immune system, a boost in self-confidence, and improved sleep are some of the other benefits that can stem from mindful writing. The beauty of writing in this way means that you don’t need to concern yourself with spelling, punctuation, and grammar; you can just splurge all your feelings onto a page.
Starting Your Mindful Writing Practice
It can be really tricky to approach mindful writing for the first few times. This is because a lot of people feel self-conscious about doing so or simply don’t know where to start.
It’s important to remember that what you write is for you and you only. No one else needs to see it, and you never have to look at it again if you don’t want to. You can simply unburden yourself of your worries and throw the book away if you’d like. Simply set a timer for 15 to 20 minutes and get writing.
Prompts to Get Started
Some of the best prompts to get started in mindful writing include vulnerability, self-compassion, resilience, and gratitude. If you’re able to identify situations in which you’ve felt vulnerable, give yourself compassion, recognize when you’ve shown resilience, and express gratitude for all the positive aspects of your life, this will give you a foundation to get started with your writing. Once you’ve made this first step, your writing will start to flow.
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