Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.
Writing for Self-Awareness
It is not good to keep emotions bottled up inside you because that can lead to psychological distress. Writing about your feelings helps tremendously. Besides, writing is a free, safe, and a confidential way to express what is on your mind. When you write for self-awareness, you don't have to worry about being judged, challenged, or put down for your beliefs, fears, and unexplained emotions because the information is not to be shared. It is for your eyes only.
You can write about things you don't always feel comfortable speaking about verbally. You will become aware of yourself through your own writing. Recent studies have shown how an increase in writing helps a great deal with discovering things about yourself.
Writing can be the key to the improvement of your mental health. The activity can be the avenue to turning your attention inward towards self-awareness. When writers express on paper what is inward, they can become more aware of their behavior, beliefs, dreams, feelings, motivations, personality, traits, and values. Often writers can put on paper what they will never tell someone in person.
Medical professionals suggest that writers become more aware of themselves through their writing, and that can be beneficial in many ways. It can increase confidence in one's self. Writing can provide satisfaction, self-control, and the ability to make better decisions.
Keep in mind that you are writing for your mental health and not to win a Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. No one might ever read what you write, but it helps tremendously to get your thoughts on paper and out of your mind. When you read it later, you will be surprised how much you have grown because of your own writing.
Self-awareness is a major key to good mental health, and writing is a great place to start.
Three Main Types of Writing
There are many types of writing, but they all fall under three distinct categories. Some people write in all three categories, but some people favor one over the others. It doesn't matter which category you prefer. It is the writing process that improves mental health and not necessarily the finished product. The point is to get your thought out of your head and onto a piece of paper.
- Expressive Writing
- Reflective Writing
- Creative Writing
It is very therapeutic to express yourself by writing about your own thoughts and feelings that are related to a stressful life event. Expressive writing helps emotionally to process difficult situations. Expressive writing can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and enhance self-awareness.
When you use expressive writing for your mental health, express what you feel, think, and believe without considering what others might think. In other words, express yourself.
Reflective writing gives people a way to assess their beliefs and actions. This type of writing helps people sort out what is going on within themselves. They flesh out what is happening to make them feel the way they do. Reflective writing is a perfect way to analyze what is happening in your life and why it is happening. This is the type of writing the American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist Ernest Hemingway was referring to when he advised people to write what hurts. He was convinced that writing about your hurts could help improve mental health.
Reflective writing allows the writer to be open and honest without holding anything back. This type of writing can improve personal and professional relationships as well as a way to get to know yourself better.
Creative writing is different from expressive and reflective writing. Creative writing is "make-believe." It usually consists of poems, short stories, and fictional writings where the writer uses his imagination rather than stating the truth for self-awareness. In creative writing, a person uses imagery and figures of speech, such as metaphors, similes, and dozens of other literary devices to paint an unreal picture to appear real.
Creative writing is a type of writing that often requires interpretation by individual readers. It is much like a painting that an artist does. Many people can see the same painting in different ways, but only the artist knows exactly what he had in mind when his picture became alive.
Writing creatively can help with subjects that are too hard to talk about such as heartbreaks, grief, and things that upset a writer so much that they are difficult for him to form his mouth to say. Therefore, he feels more comfortable writing about them disguised as creative writing.
The sky is the limit to what you can write about. It can be a stressful event or a difficult situation that is often on your mind. Write what you have learned from those experiences.
If you prefer to do something more creative, then try writing a poem or story. Ask yourself important questions as you write and then answer them in your own way.
Get into the habit of writing something every single day. Sometimes you will write a little and sometimes you will write a lot. Don't put necessary stress on yourself by establishing unrealistic goals.
Robert Clarke from UK on June 24, 2021:
I know someone who swears by writing letters. They say it really helps with mental health
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on June 23, 2021:
SChool children today need to learn to write cursive.