Devotion to improving mental health is equally important as a devotion to your physical health. Just as you need to exercise, go to the doctor, and eat healthily for a healthy body, your mind also deserves some taking care of.
If you want to help yourself build a better life and create a positive mindset, creative writing is the perfect recipe for that. Creating writing has proved to be a useful tool for improving mental health.
Do you want to know how creative writing can be beneficial? Then keep reading and learn about different ways in which creative writing can help you work on your well-being. If you don’t know where to start with your creative writing practice, Jerry B. Jenkins, 21-time New York Times bestselling author, wrote a great post on the basics of creative writing.
1. Make It a Habit
Writing can be a healthy habit for nourishing your mental health. When formed, habits help us perform actions automatically. So, rather than making a habit out of eating junk food or wallowing in your bed when you feel unwell, turn to creative writing.
According to a behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk, one of the best ways to replace a bad habit (such as embracing your sadness) is to replace it with a new one. That new habit can be creative writing.
If you do it regularly, creative writing will become a habit. With time, you’ll start reaching for your laptop or notebook instead of making a blanket fort and listening to depression-boosting music.
2. Clear Out Your Mind
There is a limit to how much people can hold in. If you don’t find a way to share your thoughts, your mind will be overwhelmed. This is where creative writing can step in.
Use creative writing to clear out any thoughts that have been obsessing your mind. You’ll have the freedom to write about whatever you want. Wrap up your thoughts in poems, short stories, essays, or novels.
What you’ll notice after your writing session is that those distracting thoughts have retreated. Since you spell them out on paper, they’ll leave you alone.
Experts often talk about journaling as the perfect tool for clearing your mind but creative writing can be just as helpful.
Maybe you are not a journaling type of person, so creative writing will give you a different method to express yourself and still take care of your mental health. It can serve as a spring cleaning activity for your mind.
3. Open Up
Having a safe place where you can pour out all your deepest feelings and thoughts can be liberating. Let creative writing be your safe place.
Cambridge University Press shared research that consisted of a group of people who had a task to engage in expressive writing for 15-20 minutes every day without holding back their emotions. The study found that people who were open with expressing their emotions while writing had better mental and physical health indexes compared to people who wrote on neutral topics.
Writing about your emotions truly helps. Combine expressing emotion with unleashing your creativity through creative writing.
4. Bring Out the Buried Emotions
The beauty of creative writing is that it relies on creativity, not logic. What this leads to is that your subconscious thoughts and buried emotions could be resurrected.
Holding in negative emotions, even if you aren’t aware of it, negatively affects your mental health. However, when you unleash your creativity that’s when buried thoughts and emotions find a way out.
Create a passage for subconscious negativity to come out and leave you peaceful. Even if you aren’t ready to openly speak about your deepest, darkest secrets, creative writing can be your outlet.
You won’t be directly addressing the issues, but they’ll still walk out of your mind masked as stories.
5. Don’t Be Critical about Your Writing
Bear in mind that you aren’t doing this for fame and fortune. You are doing this to build a healthier mindset. You should primarily be doing this to create a better life for yourself.
With that being said, approach writing without second thinking. Don’t edit what you write or contemplate whether you should or shouldn’t be writing about a certain topic. Whatever pops into your mind should be transferred to paper.
Even if you discover a writing talent within you, overthinking your writing isn’t the point here.
One day you might decide to find a writing service with the help of writing services reviews and hire an editor to polish up your stories for publishing. However, for now, the sole purpose of creative writing should be to help you take care of your mental health.
6. Use It as a Form of Meditation
What many of us struggle with is being in the moment. We get stuck in our heads and days pass without us being truly present. You can find this comforting but it’s not healthy.
Getting tangled up in your past and future makes you miss out on the present. Moreover, it can build up pressure and anxiety without any good reason.
When you are stuck in your head you don’t focus on improving your present and future. Instead of putting effort into making your days happier and enjoying the little things you live in your head.
Creative writing can help you move out of your mind and move into the real world. Writing can serve as some sort of meditation. It demands your full focus but once you are done, you’ll be freed from your thoughts and ready to live in the present.
Allow creative writing to be the medicine to your mind. It can be the place where no one will judge you, where you can be yourself without holding back, and unleashing everything you’ve been keeping inside for years. Creative writing can be your path to mental health. At least give it a try, there is nothing you can lose but there is so much you can gain.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a freelance writer, blogger, and contributor to Essayguard. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in psychological science. Her passion is traveling and finding ways to enrich students’ learning experiences.