Why write?

cropped-wp_0006812.jpgFor someone who finds writing as much a necessity as breathing, it is difficult for me to believe that others do not feel the same.

So here I will try and convince all those who don’t write, why they should try it.

We all have learnt how to write at school at some point. We may not be brilliant at spelling or have fond memories of writing at school, especially if our exercise books were full of red marks (or other marking colour).

We may have found story writing difficult, even if we could recount stories orally easily and with dramatic flair. We may not even remember what the proper name for describing words is (most primary schools in the UK don’t even use the word adjective until year 5 or 6).

It doesn’t matter. None of this matters as I am not talking about literary masterpieces. I am talking about using writing to feel better.

How can writing make you feel better, I hear you cry?

Just the act of writing is healing…there is even scientific evidence to support this:

The US social psychologist James W. Pennebaker from the University of Texas found from his research that, when people are given the opportunity to write about emotional turmoil, they often experience improved health. They go to the doctors less and have positive changes in their immune system.

He carries on to state that expressive writing, like keeping a journal or writing poetry, allows people to take a step back to evaluate their lives instead of obsessing. Stress levels go down and health improves.

There is also evidence to suggest that handwriting about our feelings triggers an area of the brain called the limbic system, namely the amygdala, which is the structure involved with emotions.

Once these emotions are tapped into through writing, the body relaxes, slowing down the heart rate and creating calm.

Writing is good for our health both physically and emotionally.

‘But I don’t have time to write about my feelings.’

You only need ten minutes maximum to write down how you feel, in a sentence or a couple, or even writing a word over and over until you feel some relief.

For, at the end of it that is what you are trying to achieve, relief.

‘How can writing help me find a partner, get a job, make money, recover from an illness?’

Writing cannot help you with the above, directly. But by writing your worries, thoughts, desires and situations, you become more aware of what is really going on inside your mind (and heart).

You gain clarity.

Once you are clear on what is really going on then you are more able to make some goals and put some action into achieving them.

So why write?

It is free, you can write how you feel without anyone interrupting and you don’t have to worry what anyone thinks. For writing is always for you…unless you want to share of course.

Contact me if you want to join my writing groups or have some one to one sessions.

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