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

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What What Highly Successful People Do Every Day To Perform At Their Best How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps Seven Budget-Friendly Things to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next