Writing: Your Anxiety Prescription
Writing can reduce stress. According to experts from PsychCentral and OutWitTrade, writing engages your left-brain, which is known for critical thinking and logic. Writing distracts your left-brain and allows your creative right-brain to “create and feel.” Writing and connecting with your inner feelings may help reduce your anxiety, stress, insomnia, and depression. It can also help you learn from the past and grow from the experience.
Many forms of writing can be used to reduce stress. In a Eastern Michigan University study, researchers found that busy students were able to relieve stress and depression by investing time in personal writing. They used mediums like diaries, journals, e-mails, and web blogs.
Listed below are some writing tips that can help reduce stress.
Keep a Diary to Reduce Stress
Experts claim that it takes anywhere between 21 to 66 days to form a habit like writing daily to reduce stress. For better success and to keep you motivated during this process, consider buying a special diary or making your own. Also, writing in a quiet environment that allows you privacy will help reduce stress. As for your stress relief writing sessions, consider setting a timer in order to write continuously with no distractions. Try practicing free-flow writing in order to focus on your honest feelings. Write your feelings for the day down on paper without having to worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
Connect With Others By Starting Your Own Blog
Writing in diaries or journals isn’t for everyone, but there are other popular options. Consider creating a blog about your life or your favorite hobbies and interests through platforms like Blogger, LiveJournal, or Tumblr. By blogging you’ll be able to build an online, supportive community or network. October 2013 data shows that over 406 million people view WordPress blogs per month. You’ll be able to connect with bloggers and readers who are experiencing the same challenges and feelings you are. This is another way that writing can help reduce stress.
Stress Relief Through Writing Exercises
If you don’t prefer keeping a diary or blogging, consider conducting writing exercises to reduce stress. You can choose a different topic every day in order to keep you motivated and excited about the process. Some writing exercises to consider include writing what you would like your life to be like in five years. Another example is to write about the places you would like to see. Or, consider writing top-ten lists. You can use topics like the happiest moments in your life or the things (or people) you treasure in life.
If after a while you’ve stopped writing and lack the enthusiasm to start again, consider looking for motivation. Reading can help take your mind of your troubles. Reading, like writing, can reduce stress, and reading can also inspire you to write again. Try reading one of your favorite books to get your creative juices flowing. Read an autobiography of someone who inspires you. Or search the web for writing tips from your favorite writers.
Embracing your inner creativity is an important part of how writing can reduce your stress. Of course, there are many other art forms that can reduce stress as well. For those who are more inclined to create things rather than write, consider turning to art for stress relief.
Bonus: If you would like to start a diary, but you’re not a fan of writing things by hand, consider this: Type your feelings instead. Consider using apps like Evernote, which will automatically transfer your entries from your computer to your smartphone and vice versa. This will allow you to write on-the-go as well and also give you another way in which writing can reduce stress.