Thursday, October 21

(Mental Health Fireside Chats): How To Use Creative Writing As A Mental Health Tool

Writing has long been used as a therapeutic tool, to help people get more in touch with their emotions. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and feeling unable to cope, then writing for a few minutes each day is going to be a great way to organise your thoughts. It will also help you find where these thoughts originate from. Here’s how to use creative writing as a mental health tool.

Why Does Writing Work As A Mental Health Tool?

You may not have written anything substantial since you left education, and so you may feel unsure about writing for mental health. Can it really help?

The goal of writing here is to give yourself a space to sort through your emotions, and understand them better. There have been many studies into how it works as a tool. For example, the University of Texas found that people were much more likely to open up about trauma, after having written about it privately first.

‘Practising writing every day is a powerful tool for healing’ says writer Aaron Deakin from Assignment Help and UKWritings. ‘When you make a point of writing every day, you’ll have a safe space to talk about feelings that you may not be ready to talk about out loud.’

How To Use Writing As A Mental Health Tool

So, how do you go about writing? Here’s some tips that will get you started.

Set Aside Time And Space

It’s a good idea to create a time and space every day for you to write. It’s a lot easier to get started when you have somewhere that’s dedicated just for this purpose. You can set up a full desk with a computer if that’s what you want, although simply sitting in a chair at your dining room table will work too. The point is to have an area in your home that’s dedicated to writing.

Use The Tools That Suit You Best

‘Everyone has a preferred way of writing’ says mental health blogger Marie Farrow, from UK Services Reviews and OXEssays. ‘You’ll get more out of the exercise if you use the tools that suit you best.’

How would you prefer to write? Some like to get a nice notebook and pen, so they can write in a diary as they did when they were a kid. Others like to use a computer or laptop, as they write better with a keyboard. Others would like to use their phone, as it’s something they always have with them. Use the tool that suits you best. If you’re not sure which one to use, try a few until one clicks with you.

Try The ‘Morning Pages’ Technique

The ‘Morning Pages’ technique is used by writers all over the world, as a way to get the creative juices flowing. They sit down with a blank page, and start writing about anything that comes into their head. They only stop when they’ve completed three pages.

You can use this process yourself. Many find it helps with mental health, as they start writing about what’s on their mind. It’s very easy to start pulling up what the problems are this way, so give it a try. Of course, if you can’t manage three pages every day, don’t worry too much. The goal is to get something down on paper every day. Even if you just write a few sentences, it’s a start.

Ignore Your Inner Critic

When you start writing, you’ll soon find that your inner critic comes out. They’ll want you to go back and correct your writing, change spellings, or even cross whole sections out. If you want to get the most out of the exercise though, you need to ignore them.

When you’re writing, you want to get everything down on paper, without stopping. The goal is get the thoughts from your head to the page. If you stop to edit, you’ll interrupt the flow and make it harder to get the full benefit. Keep writing until you’re ready to stop.

Start writing today, and you’ll soon see the benefits to your mental health. Putting things on paper helps you put things into perspective, so give it a try for yourself.

Lauren Groff is a mental health and creative writing expert, working with Write My Paper and Big Assignments. She also tutors students with Top essay writing services.

  • Photo Credit:  Liza Summer via Pexels

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