How Writing Can Keep You Sane

By on April 3, 2020

When you are cooped up indoors for many hours of the day, you might start to go a little stir crazy, and who could blame you?

Unfortunately, it looks like we might be in it for the long haul, and since we're restricted in what we can do in our day to day life, it's important not to let our mental health start to decline.

Happily, writing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help you stay sane during times of crisis. In fact, many studies have proven that writing can relieve stress, elevate mood, and help to work through difficult and challenging experiences. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 18% of the population of the United States have some form of anxiety disorder. Yet, only around 33% of them seek and receive treatment. 

Lots of people don't have friends and family they can talk through their problems with, or they just feel too embarrassed or ashamed to do so. Some don't want to admit that they need help or that they are even struggling at all. 

Writing is a common form of treatment that many therapists use to help patients open up, to get to know themselves better, and to get to the root cause of the issues that plague them. Here are some of the ways in which writing can help you:

Stops you overthinking

By writing things down, you get those troubling thoughts out of your head. Doing so stops you from allowing yourself to repeat the same ideas over and over again, to blow them up out of proportion, or to overthink and come to conclusions that may not match what's happening in reality.

Helps you track thoughts and feelings

By writing things down, you can more easily keep track of your thoughts and feelings to understand better where you are at in your head and determine the kinds of reactions you have in particular scenarios and what might be triggers for you.

Helps identify patterns of behavior

By looking back over your writing, you may start to see patterns of behavior that emerge that you can then be more aware of and recognize earlier the next time they occur.

Lets trapped emotions out

Writing helps you unburden yourself; it keeps you from bottling things up and allows you to express the way you are feeling and what you are thinking using whatever language you choose.

Is safe and non-judgemental

Writing is like a friend who is an excellent listener. It won't judge what you want to say and will accept everything. It's a safe way to examine difficult emotions and problematic thoughts that perhaps you wouldn't want to share with anyone else. 

Writing can be an excellent way of helping to work through more uncertain times in your life, but did you know it also helps you to learn faster? If you want to retain information, write it down by hand, and this can ensure it sticks in your head. There is also evidence that writing can help maintain your physical health, too, with some studies finding that writing regularly lowers blood pressure as well as benefiting physical and psychological health.

Negative emotions can get the better of all of us sometimes, particularly when in challenging situations. So now, more than ever, we should be grateful for writing and the many positive benefits it can bring. 

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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