Writing can be such a valuable companion in the best or worst of times. For anyone seeking more balance in their life, an abundance of joy, or a release from stress I encourage you to give wellness writing a try. If you are unfamiliar with wellness writing, also referred to as therapeutic writing, this is the blog post for you.
Therapeutic writing has healing qualities. This form of writing helps with finding and living in balance by getting you to write about your thoughts and feelings as well as what is going on in your life. Through a series of questions and exploration you can work through “What if” scenarios, find resolutions, explore alternatives and developments in a safe setting, and recognize patterns for experiences that keep showing up in your life. Wellness writing isn’t about only journaling bad experiences but encompasses writing about what is good and right in your life. This is whole living, whole wellness writing.
Before you begin writing let’s set three guidelines.
- REMEMBER: Whatever you write is right. You are the expert of your own experiences.
- REMEMBER: You decide what you wish to do with your writings after they are written. There are no restrictions to the healing qualities regardless of whether you decide these are private for your eyes only, if you decide to save your journals, if you decide to never reread them once they are written, if you decide to burn them, or if you wish to share them publicly or with a few select trusted friends.
- REMEMBER: Research shows that even a few minutes of writing about your honest thoughts and feelings has healing benefits. It’s one of the few wellness exercises that you can do for a brief time and gain benefits. Write for as long as you like. Or, a better way of saying it may be, “write for as long as it takes.” Try to set 10 minutes as a starting point and allow yourself to write and explore whatever is on our heart. You will feel the shift in your well-being.
Now that you the know the guidelines the writing can begin. You’re probably wondering where to start especially if you don’t have something on your heart that you want to write about. The easiest way to start is with one of these writing prompts:
- “Right now, I’m feeling…”
- What does this feeling feel or look like?
- What might be causing this feeling?
- How could I feel differently?
- What might that be like – to feel differently?
What you are doing is creating a conversation with your writing to explore a specific topic. By getting into this conversation pattern you will be peeling back, layer by layer, the topic on your heart so you can explore it more deeply and thoroughly. The brilliance in wellness writing is you can have a healing conversation with someone who may have caused you a frustration or hurt or someone who has died and is no longer here. You can also transform how you will handle a situation at work that you’re unsure of so when you go to work the next day you’re better prepared with some scenarios of what to do if this happens or someone responds that way. You can rejoice over happiness moments that were fulfilling and you would like to have more of. You may even pick out patterns of behaviors and actions you want to repeat to get more of or perhaps change in place of something that serves you better.
I hope you are starting to realize how transformations can occur through this type of writing. If you’ve ever felt burnout you understand this is a result of not paying attention to your inner world. Burnout leaves you feeling exhausted, disengaged, depleted, and overwhelmed. Therapeutic writing will put focus on how you’re feeling, on your energy level, and on your health guiding you to move through the burnout towards better and healthier ways.
For additional resources around wellness writing I invite you to join me and my guest Lynda Monk on The Balanced Living for Busy Professionals podcast where we went deep into this topic as well as shared some practical writing exercises. Not sure you can get started alone and you would rather have someone to guide you? Click here to schedule a 1:1 Consulting session.