Do you sometimes feel moody or sad and unable to pinpoint the reason? Is it difficult for you to imagine your desired future in vivid detail? Or perhaps, you would like to be able to transform anger into constructive action?
All these and much more can be achieved by the simple act of writing.
Journaling to get in touch with yourself
Intuitively, I have felt the profound power of writing and have been keeping a journal since my student days. This was the time when I started living on my own and had to rely on my own judgment. On the days when I felt uncomfortable and irritated or excited and overwhelmed, I would find a quiet place – that was easy back then without kids 🙂 – and talk to my journal.
I would write whatever came to my mind and for as long as the words kept streaming out of my pen. After that, I felt lighter and calmer with a sense of clarity and direction. This practice is called journaling. Even just 10 minutes are enough to harmonize your mind and emotions.
If you want to start journaling just do it. All you really need is a pen and paper. For more guidance check the advice of Dr. James Pennebaker.
Writing to boost your imagination
Writing is also a perfect way to boost your imagination. This is important because imagining how you want your life to be, is the first step in creating the life you love.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein
Here is a fun writing exercise you can do.
Recall a feel-good, positive memory and write it down. Then rewrite it to be not only positive but perfect, like in your wildest dreams. Let me give you an example.
Here is a memory of mine:
I am having a holiday and for a week I don’t have to waste my time commuting. I have all the freedom to choose how to spend my time. At the end of this week, the feeling of joy and freedom is replaced by nervousness and dread as I face the moment of entering the rat race again. The thought of spending my time on endless, unproductive meetings and commutes instead of on the things that matter to me, makes me unhappy.
Now I will use my imagination to rewrite it. I do that by removing (
crossed out) words and adding new (bold) imaginary experiences until it feels perfect.
I am having a holiday and for a week I don’t have to
waste my time commuting work. Yet, my work is so interesting that even when I am on a holiday I enjoy focussing on it now and then. I have all the freedom to choose how to spend my time. At the end of this week, the feeling of joy and freedom is replaced by nervousness and dread as I face the moment of entering the rat race again. The thought of spending my time on endless, unproductive meetings and commutes instead of on the things that matter to me, makes me unhappy. In fact, since I have started my own online business, I have all the freedom to choose how I spend my time in general, not only during the holidays. I am really pleased with myself as I reflect on the fact that I dared to stretch myself and create this freedom to live life on my own terms.
Your unconscious mind can not tell the difference between a real or imagined event. So, by doing this writing exercise you are actually instructing your unconscious on how to support you in achieving your goals. Interesting isn’t it?
Feel like exploring more? This book gives practical guidance on how to harness your unconscious mind.
Write to channel your anger
Writing is also a fantastic way to calm down anger and channel it into productive action. I have taught this simple technique to my daughter and see her regularly applying it.
When she was around 7 years old she used to have difficulty accepting no as an answer. Often she would burst into anger, for something very insignificant, like not being allowed to have another ice cream.
The technique is really simple.
When her anger tantrum was beginning, I would give her a piece of paper and suggest she draws or describes what she feels. And to my surprise, she would accept my suggestion and stay in her room busy with that paper for quite some time.
She would come out of her room, calm and approachable. I was amazed at how transformational and healing writing was, even at such a young age.
All in all, writing is a very simple and powerful tool to understand and manage yourself better. And who knows, one day you might even discover that you have a talent and the world will be yearning for more of your amazing stories.