Do you remember when you received your first diary or journal?
My first diary had a lock on it to keep my twin sister’s prying eyes away. And though the lock could be opened with something as simple as a bobby pin, I still couldn’t wait to pour all of my childhood secrets into it. I kept a diary for most of youth and now having a journal always close by has become as important to me as my daily vitamin supplements.
My journal is my container for writing down my life, my experiences, my goals, my thoughts, and my emotions.
But What Does Writing Have to Do with Wellness?
Well, in my writing life, the physical act of writing is essential to my wellness.
Or as Zadie Smith says in her essay “Fail Better,” “writers have only one duty, as I see it: the duty to express accurately their way of being in the world.”
If you are on a path to your wellness, as I believe we all are, writing can be an effective healing tool. The beauty of wellness is that it leads to your consciousness.
You can ground yourself in the world through your writing. Writing can lead to greater self discovery of your gifts. And writing can add a depth of presence to your thoughts and how you communicate with others.
1) Writing Develops Intuition.
Have you ever had moments when you were so focused on something that you forgot about time? Moments when you automatically suspend your questions, and choices? Perhaps going on a bike ride, bird watching, gardening, or painting are activities that completely sweep you into yourself.
These are moments when your intuition is activated. Writing about such experiences can be helpful to remind yourself of your own innate intuition. Even writing about intuitive experiences such as your dreams can help you to be aware of your intuitive life. When you become aware of your intuition, you invite more intuition.
2) Writing Helps to Separate Your Emotions from the Self.
On any given day, emotions can run rampant through us. We can also experience a variety of emotions in a short span of time. We can experience joy one moment, worry the next, and then there are times when anger arises. I believe that emotions can get stored in our bodies and can sometimes cause physical discomfort. For example, have you ever had a tension headache that’s caused by your feelings of stress?
If you can use writing as a tool to describe your emotions, you can be a tremendous service to yourself. Writing down your emotions and getting to the depth of why they arise gets them out of your body. It also gives you the power to separate your emotions from your true self. Being able to describe your emotions sets you up for wellness in the future.
3) Writing Places You in the Present Moment.
What I love about writing is that it is a physical activity. Your hands are working when you write. Imagine that when you are writing your thoughts are traveling through your system and finding expression in your hands.
Because writing is essentially a physical activity that requires your focus and attention, it also brings you to the present moment. When I begin to write, I sit down and say to myself that I am here, I am present, and I invite my thoughts and intuition into the space.
Even if you are writing about a past experience, your action is still in the present. Engaging in the present moment is one of the most powerful tools for your wellness.
4) Writing is a Journey of the Heart.
Having a writing life brings that which is internal to you to the surface and onto paper. Imagine all the treasure in your heart, all the love that rests there. What if you were able to observe your treasure and examine the layers of love within you, then express your heart into language and story? Would you have greater wellness, greater self love, and greater insight into who you truly are?