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Words as a Path to Healing and Growth…

There is so much beauty and healing power in words…

Words can be arranged to create a poem that expresses your experience in the moment, or you can just free write as a way of expressing thoughts, emotions and experiences. Writing can be like drawing a picture on paper but instead of using images you’re using words. To me it’s a wonderful way to express what’s going on in your inner world, your inner landscape. It’s also a great way to release stress, strong emotions or as a tool to  reflect on what changes you want to make in your life.

I encourage clients to write, to connect with their inner experiences by keeping a journal. This can be incredibly empowering for several reasons.

1.  The paper doesn’t judge you, it doesn’t talk back and has no opinion.

2. You can write to your hearts content, write out all of you rage, anger, joy, passion, stories until you feel empty.

3. If you’re dealing with a challenging situation in your life, writing about it can help you gain insight and shift your perspective.

4.  There are times when self talk can be extremely negative and we’re not aware of it. When this happens journaling can help us become aware. Often clients are amazed at how critical and judgmental they are towards themselves after journaling.

6. Keeping a gratitude journal can help you stay in touch with the positive side of life. It’s not used as a way to avoid the negative. It is actually a great way to bring things into balance. Sometimes you can be so caught up in negative thinking that you forget about the other side of life.

5. Sometimes we walk around with thoughts circling over and over again in our minds. Do this long enough and we may end up feel overwhelmed, confused and frustrated. Allowing ourselves the freedom to express our thoughts without judgment can be extremely empowering and freeing.

6. You can practice mindfulness through writing as a wonderful way of connecting to the present moment. This type of writing can help you get in touch with your mind, body and heart.

Writing can help you become aware of what you carry in your body, mind and heart.

Writing tips that can assist you in your journey towards healing, growth and transformation…

So here are a couple of tips about ways you can use writing to bring you into the present moment, to help you heal or just have fun and be creative!

1. Writing prompts can help you get started. Here are a few…

Something that makes me happy is…

What I’m grateful for today….

I react to fear by….

A way I can learn to respond instead of reacting to life…

Something I appreciate about myself…

One thing I appreciate about you…

Come into the moment…

Practicing Mindfulness through Writing…

You can also practice mindful writing. The practice of mindfulness is about coming into the moment, being in this space, connected to body, breath, mind and heart. Pausing and becoming aware of what is going on both inside of you and all around you. This is different then what we normally do. Most times we are caught up in our thinking mind and drift between thoughts about the past or worrying, ruminating about the future. When this happens we lose touch with this moment, with the world around us, the people around us and with ourselves. So practicing mindfulness is a gift. The gift of pausing and being right here in the world of sensation, open to seeing the change, beauty, emotion, and the life that’s all around us. This practice is usually done without the use of words but can also be done using the written word. Try the following:

Right now stop reading and become aware of your surroundings, the noises around you, the things that are in your range of vision, where you are sitting, the feel of the chair or whatever your sitting on. Notice your breath, the rhythm, pace, quality (deep breathing, shallow?). Notice if there’s tension in your body and where that tension is. Notice the smells around you. Once you fell connected to your surroundings begin writing. As you write notice any shift in the sensations in your body, your emotions or thoughts. Just allow the pen to flow on paper, don’t evaluate your thoughts or correct your grammar just write whatever comes into your mind. Once your done answer the following questions:

What I felt in my body as I did this practice…

The emotion that was present was…

The quality of my thoughts were (racing, bored, slow, murky, confused, rambling, etc.)

You can incorporate writing as a mindfulness practice , as a way to release stress or as a way to heal past wounds. It can become a powerful tool for transformation, healing or growth.

May you be happy, healthy and peaceful!

2 thoughts on “Words as a Path to Healing and Growth…”

  1. Oh, Cindy! What a terrific post! I require all of my clients to journal and find it so helpful in lubricating the gears of the work that we do together! I’ll bookmark this post and tweet it, too! I think other mental health professionals can certainly take a cue from you!

    1. Thanks Tamara! Yes, I do believe in the power of journaling for personal healing and growth…I also believe in practicing what I write about so know first hand how much more balanced and open to life I feel when I’m able to express my thoughts on paper without judgment. Thanks for the feedback!

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