“I see and I forget, I see and I remember, I write and I understand.” – Chinese Proverb
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), writing can change the way we manage stress – by writing, we can get a clearer grasp of what we are going through and how we can move forward. Writing has been shown in previous research to provide health benefits, such as reduced stress and reduced deterioration from health-related issues. Writing must be conducted appropriately, however.
The APA warns that simply writing without obtaining meaning from it can trigger more stress and anxiety without resolve. In short, writing is about focusing on critical life experiences, exploring our emotions and reactions to them, and recognizing the cause and effect relationship that those experiences have on ourselves and others. Margarita Tartakovsky, Associate Editor of Psych Central, has provided several excellent prompts to enhance self-awareness and understanding:
- My favorite way to spend the day is….
- If I could talk to my teenage self, the one thing I would say is….
- The two moments I will never forget in my life are…
- Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
- Write about a moment experienced through your body. Making love, making breakfast, going to a party, having a fight, etc. Leave out thought and emotion, and convey the information using senses.
- The words I’d like to live by are…
- I couldn’t imagine living without…
- When I’m in pain – physical or emotional – the kindest thing I can do for myself is…
- Make a list of people who genuinely support you – people whom you can trust.
- What does unconditional love look like for you?
- What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How can you act on these things?
- I really wish others knew this about me…
- Name what is enough for you.
- If my body could talk, it would say….
- I feel happiest in my skin when….
Practice writing for at least 15-20 minutes each day or a few times a week. Explore the emotions that you feel afterwards. Learn more about yourself and discover a deeper sense of yourself – one that you may have never connected with before.
If you have a mental illness or addiction and are interested in treatment that involves writing therapy, call us today at 888-316-3665. New Vista Behavioral Health offers three main treatment centers: Avalon Malibu, Infiniti Malibu, and Simple Recovery. Our licensed, experienced healthcare team will work with you to construct an individualized plan to optimize your success in recovery. You deserve to discover true happiness and health. Call us today.