When you were a child, did you love your local newsagency; all those shiny new pens, bright, coloured pencils, and fresh-smelling exercise books? Do you love receiving handwritten letters in the mail? The likelihood is that whether you’re doing it or not you love to write.
Writing brings our minds home. It churns through the myriad of complex thoughts which can clutter and sometimes disturb our minds.
Emotions that you might choose to work through on the yoga mat, the meditation cushion or in therapy can often be touched just as easily through connecting your mind and heart with your favourite pen and paper. You may enjoy writing on your own or in a writing group.
Whilst many writers have known that the experience of writing makes them feel good, it is only recently that studies have begun to show that the simple act of writing about the detail of your own everyday experiences has both mental and physical health benefits.
So why don’t you grab a new notebook and a pen, slide into a comfy chair and well begin.
“Yesterday, I went ” Beginning with these three words, write for five minutes about all the places you went to yesterday. Once you start writing don’t stop until the five minutes are up, and don’t read back over or correct any of your words. Enjoy yourself and don’t worry about spelling, proper grammar or writing complete sentences.
“Yesterday, I felt ” Again, write for five minutes but this time write about the feelings you had yesterday. It could be about one feeling, or two or three different feelings. Just allow yourself to go wherever the writing takes you, even if it takes you away from the topic.
These simple exercises connect us with our emotions and practising them each day can reveal and release negative emotions and make room for change.
Try writing and rewriting about one experience for ten minutes over a number of days and experience the spontaneous way your feelings about the event change.
These exercises can be developed to assist people to deal with specific traumatic experiences in their lives simply by writing about them in detail and also by reading to others.
Whilst we often think of writing as a mental experience, the physical benefits gained from practising daily writing reflect the deep connections between our memory, body and mind particularly relevant if we are experiencing physical discomfort in relation to past events or illness.
Now that you’ve started your writing practice, don’t stop! Whether you are writing to explore the emotions arising from a painful experience, writing to reconnect, or writing for pure pleasure, allow yourself complete freedom with the words you use. You can be silly, funny, rude, rebellious anything you choose.
Remember your writing is just for you, not for a publishing house. Not yet!