Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

  • 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.

Advertising

More by this author

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated Have You Ever Wished Your Kids Will Beg To Do Their Chores? 20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Trending in Communication

1 40 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place 2 6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak 3 How to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic 4 How to Stop Living on Autopilot with Antonio Neves 5 The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

Advertising

Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

Advertising

How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

Advertising

Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

Read Next