For the past year, I have discovered the power of writing and its healing capabilities. Through constant validation and reflection, writing allows us to be vulnerable with ourselves and within our circumstances. It provokes concise emotion and feeling, which thus leads to actions, and finally healing. Don’t believe me? Think about it;
writing things down helps us to remember, it can unload just a few of the 50,000-70,000 thoughts we have per day, and if we’re into goal setting or task completion, having a physical visual shows our progress or decline over time. After writing and meditating on how we feel, we can then take action to improve or enhance our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, which thus leads to healing. It’s also pretty amazing to reflect and see how far we’ve come!
This, is why writing things down becomes a powerful exercise.
#1 When we write things down, we hold ourselves accountable for completing the action
Are you a list maker? Is your home filled with sticky notes of constant reminders? It’s okay if you’re not and/or if you hate sticky notes (sticky notes aren’t my thing either), but I guarantee, if you write down what needs to get done, you’re more than likely to do it. There’s something about holding yourself accountable for your actions once they’re written down. You know you wrote it for a purpose, and you’ll soon learn that it feels good to check things off your list! It’s okay if everything doesn’t get done within that day, or month, or year, just don’t keep your tasks or goals on the paper. Fulfill them!
Tip: If you want to achieve short term goals, I suggest making a weekly to do list. You can write this in a journal, a notebook, or even on scraps of paper or napkins (if you don’t mind the spontaneity). If you want to achieve long term goals, write in full detail what it is you want to accomplish and why. You should also give yourself a reasonable time frame (this holds you accountable)
#2 Writing things down filters the brain of constant thoughts
If you haven’t already, you should read my post Release Ritual, it explains why I’ve come to LOVE brain dumping! Because let’s face it, life makes us feel, and feeling can be exhausting in itself. Verbally expressing how we feel to others is a great way to relieve stress, but sometimes, when we don’t have the opportunity to be vulnerable with others, decompressing and being vulnerable with ourselves is a great option. This is why I love free-writing in my decompressing journal! I love writing out my day: the good, the bad, the exciting, the “what could have been done better for next time”. It’s all a great way for me to relieve the heavy feelings I have in my head before the day is over.
Tip: If you prefer your writing exercises to be separate, you can either use different journals for different purposes (ex. have a notebook/journal for decompressing and free writing and have a journal/notebook for tasks and goal setting) or you can use one journal for both and designate certain pages for certain exercises (ex. if your journal/notebook is numbered, you can designate pages 1-100 for free-writing and pages 101-200 to task and goal setting)
#3 Writing can be therapeutic
I have added a new journal to my collection (this makes 4) and my newest one is in the picture you see above: 52 Lists for Happiness. It’s a weekly listing journal that provides a new prompt each week to aid in writing down what makes you happy! I know free-writing can be intimidating, so having prompts are helpful, and if you practice them often, you may find that they’re quite enjoyable and even relaxing! I’m currently in the Reflection section (can you tell I really enjoy reflecting lol). What I really like about this journal is that it’s challenging (in a good way). Not only does it ask you to list the things that bring you joy, it challenges you to indulge in these things more often!
Last week, the theme was to list the things you’re really good at, which I wrote were:
- Deciphering other people’s feelings
- Expressing myself through words/writing
- Followership (the capacity to follow a leader; shows characteristics of self-management, commitment, competence and courage, which ultimately, are the beginner stages of leadership)
- Serving others
- Paying attention to detail
Challenge: Free-write or write to a prompt for 10 minutes. DO NOT LET YOUR WRITING UTENSIL LIFT FROM THE PAPER! Let your thoughts flow and don’t worry about punctuation. Don’t know what to write about? Click here for inspiration!
Challenge: Write down any task that needs to get done within this week. See how fast and well you complete it by holding yourself accountable