Write to Heal-the healing power of writing
Writing has power. It is power. It can help us organize our thoughts, increase our memory, tell stories, and heal. Yes, writing is a powerful tool for healing; that’s why I write to heal.
I have loved writing since I was little, since before I could manipulate the alphabet to form words on paper. I would pretend to write stories by scribbling squiggly lines on a notepad. Later I would stay in from recess to put finishing touches on a story and play author when I was playing alone. And still later, I would embrace the power of journaling.
I started my first journal when I was 11. The goal was to keep a journal for three months. I was very dedicated, writing every night before I went to sleep. I wrote about anything I wanted to in my journal: the happenings of the day, stories, fantasies, wishes, anything. And it felt good. So when the three months were up, I kept writing.
Today I keep a few different journals–gratitude journal, life journal, and scripture journal. I also write a blog and dabble in other writing–recently completing a draft of a book during NaNoWriMo.
Writing to me is life. It is therapeutic. It is healing.
And I’m not the only one who things so.
Why I Write
Years ago, before I met Scott, I tried online dating and met a guy that I was genuinely interested in. Eventually our web-only conversations turned to talking over the phone and text. We talked a lot. And even spoke of meeting. But he lived in Texas and I was in Utah.
As luck would have it, the husband of a close friend of mine was from Texas—the same area this guy lived—and my friend and her husband were planning to visit family for said husband’s birthday. AND, they invited me to tag along.
I, of course, thought this would be a great way to meet this guy. I told him the news and invited him to see a baseball game with me and my friends. He agreed.
The day to meet came. It was fun. Awkward. Very casual. But fun.
And then the day ended.
And I didn’t hear much from him.
After I flew back home, he didn’t seem as interested in me. We still talked, but he wasn’t as flirty. And soon, we stopped talking althogeter.
I was devastated. I liked this guy. I thought he liked me too.
I had all these feelings, and the only thing I could think to do with them was write them all out. I wrote everything down in my journal. Meeting this guy online. Flirting. Silly conversations we had. Meeting in person. Rejection. Not feeling good enough. Heartache. And by the end, I felt more at peace. The hurt was still there, for a while. But writing it all down helped bring healing in a way I hadn’t expected.
Writing is Healing
It’s true. Writing is healing. Why else would therapists and other healers embrace it so much and suggest their clients journal?
An article by the American Psychology Association titled “Writing to Heal” by Bridget Murray touts, “new research suggests expressive writing may also offer physical benefits to people battling terminal or life-threatening diseases.” The article goes on to discuss research findings among asthma and rheumatoid arthritis patients and among HIV/AIDS patients.
Another article “Healing through the Written Word” by Karen Cangialosi, MFA, MA, discusses a book by James W. Pennebaker, PhD, who documented research on the healing power of writing. Karen states, “Pennebaker proved what many people have found incidentally through keeping a journal or diary: If we can create a cohesive personal narrative of our lives and if we can link up our emotions with specific events, then we have the power to take control of how those emotions and events affect our lives.”
With more evidence—just do a quick Google search—it’s no wonder that so many healers suggest writing as a mental health tool.
Why Writing Works
I believe writing is powerful because it creates a physical manifestation for all our thoughts and feelings. Putting words to paper allows us to process our mental state, our fears, our dreams, and ideas.
I don’t believe that writing has to be non-fiction, a diary report of everything going on inside our minds. So many versions of journaling exist because there are diverse ways to record and understand our thoughts and ideas.
I use a scripture journal to better meditate on my spiritual/religious practice of reading scripture and to help me better think through what I’m reading. I use a gratitude and manifestation journal to help me find positivity and hope each day. I also have a daily diary-like journal that I record whatever I want, in whatever format I feel.
And I have a writer’s journal where I record both non-fiction essays and fictional stories that come to my mind. Yes, fiction writing can also heal. When I was a kid, and even now, I used fiction to help me better understand my dreams and fears.
Embrace the power of writing and write to Heal
I’m not suggesting that you’re broken, just that we all could use healing, daily healing, in this mortal world that thrusts chaos our way. Writing is a powerful tool to help us process mental information, manifest our dreams, embrace positivity, understand our fears, and so much more.
I believe in the power of writing. That’s why I’m making it a larger part of my blog and yoga/healing practice that I share with you. Writing is a great way to help us embrace our divinity and recognize our ability, beauty, and strength.
Have you had a powerful healing experience from writing?