Even if you don’t aspire to be the next Ernest Hemingway, you can benefit from writing.
The simple act of jotting down your thoughts on paper helps reduce stress, strengthen relationships and unlock creativity. Here’s how to tap into the benefits of writing to improve your well-being.
Deadlines and decisions at work and in life can weigh on you, keeping you from falling asleep and leaving you irritable and sluggish the next day. One way to reduce stress and anxiety is to keep a journal by your bed and take a few minutes each night to write down your reflections on the day, taking note of the people and things you are most grateful for. This simple but mindful act of writing down your thoughts puts the mind at ease and helps you fall asleep on a positive note.
Remember when you would go to the mailbox, see an envelope from a friend, and feel that rush of happiness? Now, when you go to your mailbox, you’re most likely to find bills and junk mail.
We just don’t write letters that much anymore. Instead, we send emails or tweets.
Why sit down for an hour to write a letter when instead you can blast out 140 characters in an instant? Because texts and tweets are fleeting; handwritten letters linger. When you take time to write on paper, you take the time to think of the person you’re writing to, and your words take on a deeper meaning. A handwritten expression is a gift the receiver will treasure for years to come.
The act of writing itself is a creative experience, from choosing beautiful paper to picking out just the right pen. But perhaps even more importantly, writing gets your creative juices flowing, helping uncover new thoughts and ideas.
Writing also helps you remember things better. So, take a minute to write down that flash of brilliance when it appears out of thin air. Then when the time to act on it comes along, you’re more likely to remember it. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says it best: “The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.”
So try something old that will feel new again. Turn off the smartphone and pick up a fresh piece of paper. You won’t regret it.
Have you experienced the benefits of writing? Share how you make this a daily practice in your life in the comments below.
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