Writing as a Tool for Better Mental Health

Writing essays is always supposed to be a school routine that takes your leisure time and cannot be a pleasure. However, any writer must have ever experienced in his life the immediate relief of jotting an urgent idea onto the paper or exhilarating sense of accomplishment upon completing a piece. But there are also known frustrations of writing essay: the struggle of translating your thoughts eloquently and accurately on paper as well as the irritation of randomly wandering on the page when a writer has not a clue what to write about. You may think that you always need to write essays for your school marks, but can you imagine to write just for yourself?

Writing could become an opportunity for people to improve their mental health. How many times have you phoned a friend because you needed to vent? Retelling a frustrating situation is an instantaneous stress reliever because it serves as a direct outlet for negativity. The only other option is to allow the negative emotion to build up inside you and stir about, causing you great agitation until you release it. Writing can help you to put it out of your mind. If you’re struggling to release your emotions through writing, online therapy can be a great tool to help you release emotions in healthy ways.

Writing to Treat a Trauma

Writing is currently used as a form of expressive therapy. The act of writing is used in a variety of settings, while writing group leaders work in hospitals with patients dealing with their mental and physical illnesses, as well as in university settings aiding students in self-awareness and self-development. By merging writing practices, Writing Therapy helps people to release negative emotions through the act of writing, to evaluate experience by writing in vivid detail and with thoughtful narration, to prepare the future with new insight about the experience, and to establish the foundation for powerful creative nonfiction writing. Writing is also more deliberate than talking. Words flow out of your mouth much easier with a lot less thought. However, when you write, your words are more intentional, raising your level of accountability, and adding a deeper level of thought. This extra consideration or thought is the foundation of the art of reflection.

Writing essays helps the brain organize and reflect. Writing enables students to make sense of complex, multifaceted pieces of information. Journaling and other note-taking forms provide written records for review and reflection that enhance both immediate and long-term recall ability. Reflective journaling can also help the emotional brain. A two-part study on the effects of expressive writing on the working memory, for example, conducted by Klein and Boals in 2001 revealed that individuals who wrote reflective narratives about negative experiences experienced a decline in dissonant, avoidance thinking related to the events. Such findings suggest that writing may provide a healthy and productive way to improve memory and deal with trauma, offering not just an important life skill but also a life-coping skill.

How to Make the Process of Writing Essays Less Frightening?

Writing essays can be a pleasant experience, the tool by which ideas and memories spill onto pages and computer screens. On the other hand, writing can be a painful experience that blocks and stalls ideas and memories, causing writers, teachers, or students to feel frustrated and insecure. An understanding of Piaget`s stages of cognitive development enables writing coaches to understand that moving from a young child to adolescent stages means moving from concrete to more imaginative and abstract thought. Current understanding of the brain`s ability to self-repair punctuates the importance of providing students opportunities to write about their sad or traumatic as well as their happier experiences. Writing essays can be expressive, descriptive, narrative, expository, or persuasive. It can involve an unlimited process of writing, which traditionally includes brainstorming, drafting, conferencing, revising, editing, and finalizing. Writing can also be a timed process often called demand writing, whereby writing is timed and specific to prompts like the prompts found on high-stakes writing tests. To help the brain make connections that lead to writing mastery, a strategic plan must be in place that helps to develop the strength of essay writers. The plan must attend to the challenges inherent in each type of writing. Piaget suggested that when introducing experiences that initially produce some struggle, students need tools to resolve their cognitive difficulties. No matter what you are writing, allow yourself to compose freely. Being unimpeded by analytical cognitive processes that monitor mechanical skills, for example, frees your cognitive thought processes to more readily tap into memories, ideas, and opinions.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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