my writing pill
The simple art of journaling saves lives. It saved mine. And it still does.
When the ground beneath me quakes with uncertainty and fear, I hold myself steady through my writing.
Lord Byron said, “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”
I do too. Writing brings me back to myself when I’m spinning. Calms me down. Helps me clear my mind. If I don’t have a place to lay down errant thoughts, I cannot get my work done, and what I do get done is lifeless and limp.
Writing keeps me in my life while allowing me to hear the quiet voice of my soul. And when the waves of life get wild, writing is my surfboard.
If we choose to live with arms spread and hearts wide open, we also open ourselves up to the sucker-punches of fear and anger, sadness and loss. We open up to it all. Writing is a way we can get in touch with, heal, and empower ourselves through our vulnerability.
Research shows writing about our lives*:
- Reduces incidences of depression and anxiety
- Enhances our emotional, and in turn, physical health by giving us a forum to release stress and inhibitions
- Strengthens our social connections by enabling us to open up to ourselves
- Cultivates self-knowledge, which lies at the bedrock of personal and professional success.
Writing “is a matter of necessity and that you write to save your life is really true and so far it’s been a very sturdy ladder out of the pit.” -Alice Walker
Writing is my art and inspiration. It is my meditation and my source for creative visualization.
Writing is my anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication.
Writing is my pill.
*A few research articles supporting journaling as a mental/emotional health tool:
Pennebaker, J.W. (1997). Writing about emotional experiences as a therapeutic
process. Psychological Science, 8, 162-166.
Smyth, J.M., Stone, A.A., Hurewitz, Al, & Kaell, A. (1999). Effects of writing about stressful experiences on symptom
reduction in patients with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized trial. JAMA, 281, 1304-1309.
Spiegel, D. (1999) Healing words: Emotional expression and disease outcome.
JAMA, 281, 1328-1329.