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Writing as a Form of Self Healing

Writing as a Form of Self Healing

As a self employed writer, I am certainly able to attest to the fact that the written word has the power to heal. However, you don’t have to be an experienced or eloquent writer to receive the self healing benefits that writing has to offer. All that is required is that you channel your emotions honestly and that you write solely on emotion and not reasoning. The beauty of writing as a form of self healing is that it allows you to release your feelings and come to terms with the problems but does not hurt anyone else because you are writing for yourself and do not have to show the writing to anyone else.

The following are a few brief examples of when writing can be used as a form of self healing.

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  1. Writing a letter, that you have no intention of sending, to a person from your past that has done something you perceive as wrong and hurtful to you. In this letter you are free to express your true feelings and can “tell” the person how their words or actions hurt you.
  2. Writing a poem or short story that illustrates your pain can help you to heal by providing you an outlet for your feelings. The poem or short story can be a wonderful work of art or simply a piece that is true to your feelings. Either way it serves the purpose of providing you with an emotional outlet.
  3. Even writing a list of words that describe your feelings can help you to heal. Just taking the time to put these words on paper allows you to feel as though the pain that you feel is leaving you as you write.

When you write as a form of self healing the focus should be on expressing your emotions. Writing in a way that is grammatically correct or has proper sentence structure and use of punctuation is not as important as writing words that adequately express your emotions. Self healing stems from honesty and expression of emotion and if you stifle or censor yourself while you write, you will not heal during the process. Below are some helpful guidelines for writing in a way that is also healing.

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  • Set aside time to write as a way of healing. Provide yourself with at least twenty to thirty minutes of uninterrupted time to write. Allowing adequate time in a quiet space that is free of interruptions will enable you to concentrate on your feelings.
  • Writing freely is also very important. It is important to remember that you are just writing for yourself and no one else will see your words so you do not have to worry that your words are too harsh.
  • The style of your writing is also not important. It doesn’t matter whether you write a poem, a letter, a play or any form of writing that you choose as long as the words are genuine expressions of your feelings.
  • Grammar, sentence structure and punctuation are not important so while you are writing as a form of self healing, don’t worry about editing your writing. Just keep going until you feel the pain subsiding and you feel as though your writing is complete. There is no need to go back and edit your work unless you want to do so.
  • Sometimes it is helpful to read your words aloud after you have finished writing. If you are in a secure location where your words won’t be overheard and you feel comfortable doing so, it might be helpful to read your piece out loud. This gives a voice to your writing and may be beneficial in the healing process.
  • Finally, it is advisable to destroy your writing either through burning or some other method of destruction when you have completed your writing. This puts a definitive end to the situation and helps to create closure. It also eliminates the possibility that your words will be read by someone that they might offend or hurt.

I certainly understand the value of writing as a form of healing. However, as a writer by trade, I don’t necessarily have an advantage over those who work in other industries. This is because writing for the purpose of healing, isn’t even remotely close to writing for publication. When you write to heal, you are free to write whatever you want with no restrictions or restraints. Grammar and punctuation go out the window and all that matters is the emotion behind the words.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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