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    Writing Can Improve Mental Health

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    Summary: From reflective journaling to creative prose, writing can help boost self-esteem, deepen a sense of self-control, and improve self-awareness. Writing can also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

    Source: The Conversation.

    Ernest Hemingway’s popular saying is that “writers should write hard and clear about what hurts”. Research has now shown that writing about “what hurts” can help enhance our mental health.

    There have been more than 200 studies that show the positive effects writing has on mental health. It has been known that bottling up emotions can lead to psychological distress. It stands to reason, then, that writing might improve mental health because it offers a safe, confidential and free way to reveal emotions that were earlier bottled up.

    Recent studies have begun to show that writing about ‘what hurts’ leads to an increase in self-awareness, rather than simply revealing emotions and this could be the key to these improvements in mental health.

    In essence, self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings. By turning our attention inward, we become more aware of our traits, behaviour, feelings, beliefs, values and motivations.

    Research implies that becoming more self-aware can be advantageous in many ways. It can increase our confidence and encourage us to indulge more in society. It leads us to work with our full potential and push us to become more effective leaders. It can also help us to exercise more self-control and make better decisions that are oriented with our long-term goals.

    Self-awareness can be improved with practice. Writing daily might be particularly helpful in increasing self-awareness. Rereading what we have written can also help us to turn your attention inward towards the self. It gives us a deeper insight into our feelings, behaviour, thoughts and beliefs.



    Published: The Conversation.

    Contact: Christina Thatcher, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

    Details: Image source Unsplash

     

    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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