Writing for Healing
I am a writer.
One of the incredible aspects of the art of journal writing is its healing properties. Studies have shown that journaling reduces stress levels and lowers blood pressure. People have used writing to help rid their bodies of physical pain (for more on this, check out Pain Free for Life by Scott Brady, M.D.) Writing is invaluable, when used with therapy or by itself, to process loss and trauma.
So how do we do that?
The first step, as so often said, is identifying the problem.
The second step is to say it aloud or write it down. This makes it more real.
Now that it's written down or verbalized, the mind can begin to work on processing it.
A book I highly recommend is Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo. A couple years ago, I used an idea I found in her book to journal out an issue I had. It was a big enough problem that it was bogging me down. I didn't know how to heal from it, but wished I could so that my life could be more functional and I could be more free.
So I decided to write about it. I took a pen and a journal and I began to write as quickly as I could without paying much attention to what I was writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote until my hand cramped and my body had stopped shaking. A few days or a couple of weeks later, I wrote about it again, in the same fashion, trying not to think between sentences, trying not to self-edit or "correct" my own thoughts.
Today I consider myself to be significantly healed on this issue, which was something that had been effecting me negatively for many years.
Writing it down gave me new perspectives I hadn't thought of. Having it down on paper gave me a way to have it separate from myself. Transforming my pain into words, written down in black and white, dejumbled things. It was more manageable somehow.
I believe everyone has baggage (issues from their past or present), and that everyone deserves to live a functional, joyful life. If we can flush out some of the toxins from our traumas, they will just be a part of our past, and won't continue to harm us as much. We can go forward without the extra load.