Expressive writing, also known as personal journaling or emotional disclosure, is just a fancy name for writing from the heart. It is an aspect of self-care that involves a pen and a notebook.
Journaling is a habitual practice of processing your feelings and thoughts regarding everything important through writing.
Your emotional disclosure on paper is more than just writing. Often, it is a therapeutic, stress-relief tool and a great way to maintain sound mental health.
In this article, we will discuss seven benefits of expressive writing for your mental health.
7 Benefits of Expressive Writing for A Sound Mental Health
- Stress Relief
- Improved Mood
- Better Sleep
- Increased Self-Awareness
- Improved Emotional Regulation
- Increased Resilience
- Improved Mental Clarity
Stress is a natural part of life, and various factors contribute to its cause.
Increased stress levels can take a toll on our mental and physical health, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
As a writer, effectively managing stress is important because writing is sometimes mentally tasking and emotionally draining.
Expressive writing is an excellent stress relief tool because it helps you gain control of your emotions and intentionally process your stress triggers.
Writing about your feelings and issues helps you control your emotions and lessens the intensity of drowning in negative feelings like anger and frustration.
This practice improves your mood and makes you feel better.
Journaling before bed helps you make a clean break from your day and eases your mind into sleep without hassles.
Incorporating expressive writing into your nighttime routine grants you access to quality sleep, leading to overall improved mental health.
The process of introspection and reflection that occurs when journaling increases your self-awareness and provides a deeper understanding of yourself.
Writing expressively is an excellent strategy for fostering sound mental health through heightened introspection.
Improved Emotional Regulation
Writing enhances your capacity to manage your emotions by recognizing and addressing repetitive patterns of feeling and responding.
This helps you regulate your emotions and improve your emotional and mental health.
Journaling about your tough experiences and finding clarity through writing boosts your resilience and ability to deal with adversities in the future.
Improved Mental Clarity
Writing your thoughts and feelings on paper makes them easier to organize with clarity and helps you proffer sound decisions.
Ways To Incorporate Expressive Writing In Your Nightly/Daily Routine
Journaling is the simplest form of therapy. As a writer, journaling is part of your daily routine.
However, intentional journaling isn’t a habit for everyone. But, if you seek to incorporate it into your nightly/daily routine, here are six ways to achieve your goal.
Set Aside Time and Space
Set aside a few minutes from your regular writing time/daily activities and a quiet space to journal.
The time you choose to journal is your choice to make. You could pick first thing in the morning, right before night, or even during your lunch hour.
Find a peaceful spot free of intrusions and let your words flow.
Start With A Prompt
You can use a writing prompt if you are having problems getting started.
Don’t feel terrible because you can’t come up with journaling prompts on your own.
Pro Tip: Your prompt can be about anything.
Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
The purpose of expressive writing is not to create a perfect piece of writing, it is to release your pent-up emotions and thoughts onto paper.
If you’re stuck on what to write, just let your thoughts flow.
Consistent writing will get you into the habit and make you feel more at ease with it.
Begin by devoting 15 to 20 minutes a day and add more time if desired.
Read What You’ve Written
Reading what you’ve written is a great way to get perspective and examine your inner thoughts.
You may discover some recurring ideas or motifs that will inspire future pieces.
Keep Your Writing Private
Expressing yourself via writing is an intimate endeavor, so keep your writing a secret unless you’re ready to share it with the world.
I recommend journaling/expressive writing as the simplest form of mental therapy for writers.
It has significant mental health benefits and is an easy practice you can incorporate into your daily routine.