I can’t tell you how many women I’ve known who have said, “I hate writing; I just don’t know what to say.” And though some of them may have been grammatically-challenged, I always encouraged them to give it a try. Writing for creative expression or simply to journal your ideas is not about being perfect or eloquent; it’s about YOU and what’s inside of YOU. God knows I’m not a perfect writer, but I do get an immense amount of joy and self-satisfaction from it. Even if you don’t particularly find writing to be your favorite activity, you can benefit from it’s health-boosting rush.
Brain Health Benefits
Your brain is a wonderfully complex organ that needs stimulation to be healthy. When we write or process language in any way, the brain creates neural pathways that actually enhance problem-solving and memory. When the left brain engages the writing process, the right brain is free to create; thus, the whole practice removes blockages that can hinder learning and the ability to express one self. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough reason for me to get out the pen and paper.
“Turn off your internal censors and write about your experiences – both positive and negative – as honestly as you can,” says James Pennebaker, Ph.D., pioneer of expressive writing research and chair of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. When we write about a traumatic event or difficult situation our body produces more immune system T-Lymphocytes that in turn can help prevent illness. Other research shows that writing can lower blood pressure and soothe other conditions caused by inflammation like asthma and arthritis.
Writing is a way to process past experiences that may be causing hindrances to your self-improvement. It can clarify a misunderstanding or even solve a problem altogether. Working through traumatic parts of your life is not easy; however, journaling these events can help with the release of toxic emotions that prevent healing. Reflecting on what you’ve written is also a way to promote inner-healing.
“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like child stringing beads in kindergarten, – happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.”
A Newly Found Talent
If you haven’t tried creative writing or journaling in the past, you might be surprised at what comes out of that brain of yours. Sometimes talents are buried by useless self-doubt and are never able to come to the surface. Writing freely just might bring out a latent gift for prose. And if it doesn’t, that’s OK; just keep on writing anyway.
Don’t think that you have to write stories or essays to bring out your ability. Writing poetry, song lyrics, and even jokes is a great way to express your feelings – positive and negative. Keep in mind that you don’t have to show anyone else your work. Though, it does help to get feedback if you plan to pursue a writing career. I hope that every one of you give writing or journaling a try as it can be so rewarding and healing. In fact, if you want to send me an article, essay, or poem that pertains to women’s living, I might publish it here on Women’s Life Link. Be well-be beautiful.
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