While most people understand the basics of writing, far too few take advantage of writing for its mental health benefits. Most people only write when they have to, thinking of it more as a chore than a valuable life skill. In truth, writing can seriously improve your mental health across the board; there’s a reason why people have kept journals for centuries. There are real psychological benefits at play when you use a pen to pour your thoughts onto the page.
Don’t believe us? Today, let’s break down how writing can improve your mental health and explore The Word Counter and other tools you can use to track your progress, master your writing skills, and more.
Help You Focus Your Thoughts
For starters, writing helps you focus your thoughts no matter how jumbled or chaotic they may feel inside. That’s because when you write, you have to consciously organize your thoughts into letters and words, then into sentences, then into a flow of paragraphs. Put another way, writing requires you to marshal all of your concentration and figure out exactly what you think and feel before putting it on the page.
This thought-focused exercise can pay dividends for your mental health, especially if you are feeling frazzled, anxious, or worried but can’t quite express why. Many people find that after writing their feelings in a journal or even on the back of an envelope, they are better able to express their feelings to friends and family members.
Take advantage of this tip the next time you have to have a major meeting or discussion with your family. You might find that you express yourself more clearly and that you encounter fewer emotional obstacles!
Quantify and Face Your Worries
Perhaps more importantly, writing can improve your mental health by helping you quantify and then face your worries, fears, and anxieties. As touched on above, writing makes you organize and spell out your exact thoughts and feelings. When doing this, you might discover exactly what you are worried about or get to the root of a negative emotion that’s rocking you to your core.
For example, imagine that you can’t go to sleep because you have a big day at work tomorrow. Even knowing this, you can’t quite put your finger on why you are so worried. After a brief journaling session, you discover that you are mostly worried because you don’t want to let your boss down, which may cause you to miss out on a promotion. After identifying this worry, you might be able to handle it more easily. You may even use this knowledge to ensure you don’t miss out on the promotion by preparing extra for a workplace presentation beforehand!
That’s not all that writing can do to improve your mental health. It can also help you track the symptoms of physical or mental ailments. Say you have felt under the weather over the past few weeks. You can’t quite figure out what’s wrong, and your brain isn’t being any help!
But when you write down your symptoms over several days or weeks, you might notice patterns in your behavior, your thoughts, and other areas. This then allows you to contact a doctor or therapist and figure out exactly what’s wrong or what mental health resources you need to pursue.
In other words, writing can be a valuable analytical tool for you to better understand your brain, how it operates, and how to fix any mental or physical maladies that might impact your daily life.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
The power of positive self-talk or affirmations can’t be understated. Simply put, when you write nice things about yourself, your brain actually begins to believe them, even if the act feels a bit silly in the moment.
This is an invaluable strategy if you have low self-esteem or struggle with your confidence. Positive self-talk can equip you with greater self-confidence and help you overcome negative thoughts and feelings about your ego. You can do this rather easily by simply writing positive sentences or statements about yourself in a journal each night before bed.
For the best results surrounding your mental health, try to practice positive self-talk by writing a certain number of words each day. Tools like The Word Counter can quickly help you figure out how many words you write without having to individually count each word in a sentence or paragraph.
Try Writing for Mental Health Benefits
Ultimately, writing can improve your mental health in too many ways for you to ignore. It’s a good idea to start writing in a journal at least once a week. In no time at all, you’ll begin noticing some benefits to your state of mind!