Have you tried journaling or therapeutic writing? Daily writing is a powerful tool for self-expression and healing. I often encourage my own clients to journal. Random thoughts come together into surprising revelations when they are put down on paper. Sometimes it can be difficult to get started. Writing prompts can help. For example:
“Whenever I think of _________ I find myself______________”
The purpose of your writing will guide you. If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to keep a food journal to track: what you are eating, the time of day, how much is being consumed and what thoughts or emotions were triggering the eating episode (physical hunger?). The space of time it takes you to write often can avert an unwanted eating splurge!
Anger journals may help you identify triggers of anger. You can describe actual verbal and physical anger responses, consequences of your behavior, and alternative future responses that may be more effective.
Writing about grief or loss can be quite helpful, since we often stuff uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes family and friends lose interest in listening to sad events, but the grief process can take longer than expected. Writing down what you are experiencing can help release complicated, confusing emotions. You may try writing a “letter” to the person who is no longer in your life. This is especially helpful if you are trying to make amends. You may not be able to send the letter, but you will get the benefit of having expressed your memories, apologies, or feelings of longing.
Journaling about life goals is a wonderful way to “get ideas down on paper” and making them more real. The process allows you to brain storm, problem solve, do pros/cons lists, create time lines, and discover feasibility of a variety of ideas.
Insomnia? Writing is a great way to process anxiety in the middle of the night. Have you ever woken up at 2:23 am and found yourself tossing and turning because your mind cannot quiet itself? Instead of twirling your sheets in a knot, try writing down your tumbling thoughts. Even if you cannot figure out your direction, you have something to go with in the morning. Once you write it down, you’ll find it easier to go back to sleep!
Examples of Writing Prompts:
The one thing I would love to change about myself is………….
What scares me the most………..
My favorite childhood memory is………
My bucket list would include…………
I am intensely thankful for………
It really pisses me off when………
I still regret when I………
There is a new Kindle book being e-published by Lisa Layton and Shane McConnell titled Write to Change that has many specific prompts for various writing topics. You may want to check it out.