Thursday, January 21, 2010

Writing…It’s Such Great Therapy!

Writing is probably the best free therapy around, other than talking to a trusted, wise friend.  Writing has so many benefits, it’s a wonder that more people don’t do it!  Why is writing so beneficial? 

1. Writing helps you forget.  Many people who come to counseling have a forgetting problem.  Something bad has happened to them, and they believe that they MUST remember it or it will happen again, or they won’t remember how bad the situation was when they need the emotional power that is triggered by remembering event, or they will cease to be the person they are today, or many other reasons.  Writing something down helps you get to a place where you can forget and let go.  One reason for this is the next benefit.

2. Writing helps you remember.  There are many things you need to remember, but most things do not need to clutter up your mind.  After you have written something down, you can go back to it to remember.  In much the same way as a shopping list works (i.e. you don’t have to keep repeating the list over and over in your mind and thus distracting yourself in the store), writing about emotional topics helps you release the responsibility of remembering but allows you to remember at appropriate times.  If you need to tap into the emotional energy that accompanies a certain event, all you have to do is turn to that page in your journal, and you’re right back there again.  When you need documentation of an event, you can always turn back to your journal for a more accurate picture than what your brain has allowed you to remember over time.  When you read the emotional journal entries you have written in the past, you remember just how good or bad something was at that time.

3. Writing is glorifying to God.  When you remember where you have been in your life, and you see how God has taken you out of those dark places, God is glorified.  When you share those experiences with others, God is glorified.  When you write now, you can look back in the future with this perspective.

4. Writing helps you discover who you are.  Looking back over your writings, you discover more about yourself than you really ever thought you would.  You will discover how you tend to react to things, who you tend to blame for the things that happen in your life, things that are important to you, your priorities, your hopes and dreams, how you deal with good and bad times, and how you have changed over time.  Writing helps you take a more objective look at yourself.

These are just four tiny benefits of writing.  What other benefits can you come up with?