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Therapeutic Benefits of Writing

As I begin writing for our Brickell Psychology’s first blog post, I can’t help but think of the many therapeutic benefits and tools we can derive from the simple act of writing. Writing can be an expressive portal into self-discovery, compassion, or conflict resolution. Here are some ways you can incorporate some healing properties of writing.

1) Gratitude

It’s no secret that living in gratitude is one of the secrets to living a fulfilling life. One way to exercise this muscle is to write out things that you are grateful for in a journal. As your sipping on your morning coffee, this could simply look like journaling three things you are thankful for. Another form of expression is writing a letter of gratitude to yourself. An ode to you and your resilience in overcoming obstacles. Another option is a letter of gratitude to a loved one/ loved ones and highlighting all their positive contributions to your life.

2) Conflict Resolution

Whether it’s an argument with a partner or a dispute at work, we’ve all been there. One way of helping rationalize your thoughts and process your emotions is to get them all out on paper. In a column to the left, write out bullet points from your point of view and the feelings that accompanied them. In a column to the right, write out bullet points of the opposition’s point of view and their possible feelings accompanying them. After analyzing both points of view, create bullet points for some possible solutions to the problem. Throughout this exercise, you are allowing yourself to exercise empathy for yourself and for other’s when trying to navigate a difficult conversation and situation in the work place or at home.

3) Self Love

Sometimes we need to practice self-compassion. A therapeutic tool to aid in forgiveness and understanding, is to write a letter to your past self. This letter to your past self is acknowledging all the actions, feelings, and defensive mechanisms that could have been created in order to deal with loss, grief, or pain from your past. This can help us develop less judgmental opinions of ourselves, and help forgive some of our past to create more compassion for our current and future self.

3) Unlocking Subconscious Feelings

Do you ever feel stuck in your feelings? Do you want to develop a closer relationship with your authentic self? Simply free writing could be a great option for you. Set a timer for 15 minutes on your phone and open up a fresh sheet of paper or a blank document on your laptop. Simply just engage in writing. This will feel a bit uncomfortable at first. You might try and overanalyze what you are trying to say, but free writes can start with simple generalized statements with no intended direction. Any thought that comes, just write it down. “The sky is blue today, I felt sad this morning, I feel joy when, I feel stuck because, I feel tired period, I feel lost with what to do next” Simply surrendering yourself to the process of the flow allows you to turn off your conscious mind, and bring subconscious thoughts to the surface. When the timer goes off, just allow yourself to read it without judgment. Often times I have found with clients, that they had the answer deep within them the whole time. Sometimes we just need a fresh page to bring out our most authentic selves.

I have listed a few writing techniques that could allow for self discovery, self compassion, conflict resolution, or personal fulfillment.

Thank you for reading, and hope you remain creative and open to the discovery that a fresh sheet of paper can bring.

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