By Annmarie O’Connell, LPC, CADC, NCC
Writing can be a really beneficial way to work through emotions. Writing is akin to talking. We can use it as a way to talk to ourselves, a way to expand our inner voice and talk to the exterior world in a more organized way. A writing mentor of mine once told me that writing can be very healing and can create a safe space to feel heard. I think that is exactly what I was seeking when I began writing, a way to process my experiences and feelings. This personal writing can help keep you invested in yourself and can create a sacred space of expression. Writing can provide you with an opportunity to perform an introverted analysis of why you can feel the way you do. There is something about writing about our life experiences that helps to reshape them in some way. It also allows for a certain level of command over them. When you can articulate it in a structured way after sitting down and unravelling them, you can lay it out and see it apart from yourself. Being able to hold your experiences and emotions in your hand brings about a certain level of healing and relief.
Face Your True Spirit
Writing sounds so simplistic but can be a therapeutic way to sit down and face your true spirit, exactly where you are at with no limitations. It is important not to force yourself to write, but try and write about the aspects of your heart that haunt and ail you sentence by sentence. Even if you start off with one or two sentences and build and add to complete a whole picture. The idea is the more you do little by little, the more strength you are accumulating. Sometimes writing in third person is easier when the emotions are overwhelming and difficult. Writing in fiction is not for everyone, but sometimes helps people express themselves when they get stuck.
Tell Your Story
Another way of healing through writing is telling your story. We can create the narrative of our lives from birth to present and give detail and uniqueness to our story. We all have a story to tell. We all have a chronological timeline of events that make up our history and define not only who we are but how we behave and respond to others in our lives. When we tell our story and are invested in the telling of it, we create a new meaning of where we are going. We can take control over our destiny and own it outloud. It can be very gratifying and freeing. It can also make us feel validated and legitimize our lives with words and grace. We can give voice to what we have witnessed and claim our lives in a way that is deeply transformational. There is so much out of our control at times, especially when we experience trauma. The great thing about language is we have control over the words we use and the stories we tell.
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