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Write Your Way to Wellness

When your mind is full and your schedule packed, the best way to rejuvenate your mind, body, soul, and spirit is to write. Read about how you can write your way to wellness so you start feeling whole, motivated, and strong in no time!

Nowadays if you feel like you can’t catch your breath between work, family, chores, errands, caretaking, and trying to wash your face once in a while, the thought of adding one more thing to your various spinning plates might either make you laugh or cry (or both).

Yet writing—while indeed another “thing”—is not any regular thing. It’s a thing that both relieves and gives back:

  • It releases the pressure building behind the damn of your life. All that threadbare fatigue in your body and bursting brain full of too many thoughts need a release, and writing is exactly that.
  • It fills your mind and body with productive, positive energy that makes you feel rejuvenated, purposeful, and directed.
birds in flight

Write Your Way to Overall Wellness

Everyone is overstretched, and “busy” has become the primary answer to “how are you?” for most people. You only need to look up or glance at your phone to be served with ads an information about “self-care”: facials, massage, exercise, therapy, the options list is enormous.

These are good, valuable things to do to relieve stress, but where a facial’s effects are skin deep, writing for even 10 minutes to write can alleviate and regenerate your mind, soul, spirit, and body. The effect from spending that bit of time to refuel your self-hood is invaluable and lasting. 

When you’re ready to feel better, what will have the most valuable and lasting impact is for you to write your way to wellness. 

The Wellness Benefits of Writing

Researchers have seen what happens in the brain when people write- and we’re talking about any kind of writing: journal writing, exploratory essays or memoir writing, even creating characters (who will invariably be connected to your inner landscape as you’re the one creating their hearts and souls) in fiction writing. 

The documented outcomes from writing include boosted memory, decreased depression, increased immune function, and overall better cognitive health, particularly when the writing is by hand, which due to the motor function, sends additional positive signals to the brain. 

Expressing feelings, in verbal or written words, reduces activity in the amygdala, the brain’s emotional center, and engages the thinking brain. This brain pattern can make sadness, anger, and pain less intense.

from “The Best Brain Possible,” by Debbie Hampton

Giving yourself the time, space, and freedom to access yourself on the page releases endorphins, which flood your brain with happiness.

Not only do you feel better, but all that smiling from feeling better releases even more endorphins– what a happy loop to be in!

All told, all that writing is like a big let-out sigh. It’s a fully-realized, all body relief we cannot get through any other means. And while other forms of release are extremely valuable, none of them are as intimate, as to the point, and as effective for inviting mental clarity, for giving rise to feelings of empowerment, and for spiritually and physically lifting yourself, as writing.

nordic socks

Journaling Is a Known Wellness Booster

Unlike writing for work or in a performative context, whereby you’re always aware of others’ judgment, writing in a journal is the ultimate freedom. Whether it’s the paper kind or it plugs in, your notebook is your mental safe space where you can be raw and real like nowhere else.

You can bring to light your darkest, most honest thoughts. Imagine if you’d told those to another person- the backlash that would ensue! (Shudder). This way you can unleash the truth and let it stand. Getting to know yourself and to let out all that you regularly have to hold in by journaling is a known wellness booster because it lets you make peace with who you are and what you think and feel. It helps you normalize your relationship to yourself and know you’re just right.

Journaling is a gift because it gives you the chance to come to know your own mind and to wend your way into your real truths that you may have never acknowledged if not for writing them down. This opportunity for reflection is gold.

bridge in forest

Writing Invites Clarity and Feelings of Legitimacy

The benefits of therapy are well-known, but by writing—going linear with your thoughts on the page (literally as you write or type in a physically forward path) and figuratively as you puzzle through the shadows and crevices of your thoughts—you are working toward arriving at clarity, epiphany, and healing.

Our minds are designed to create solutions from information, so by going from a, to b, to c, and so on, you’re building critical links toward truly understanding yourself and the world you inhabit. 

Further, when you formalize your thoughts on the page, it reinforces them as legitimate and easier to “own” (rather than thoughts that remain in your mind or that you express verbally, which may be easier to dismiss as “silly” or “inconsequential.”) 

So write, and write knowing it’s an investment in yourself: Any forward movement on the page that braids together your ideas, your engagement as you develop them, and forming those thoughts into tangible words in a formalized setting (sentences) has exponential benefit for the body, mind, and heart.

Writing Your Way to Wellness Gets Better With Practice

Like with most things, the more you write and allow yourself the freedom to write whatever comes to mind, the easier it gets to get to the heart of things.

Being able to stop, drop, and feel better, uplifted, more in control, and empowered within a few minutes of writing is in and of itself empowering (yet another nice loop to be in!)

One of the key reasons writers and journal keepers insist on writing as a daily practice is writing begets more writing. 

With practice, the ideas and memories arrive more easily; you’re more able to get to the essence of them from learning how to identify patterns in your behavior and thinking.

In time, reaching for the journal becomes a matter of necessity so you can approach your outside life from a much more confident state—because of all the exploration you’ve done of yourself and inquiry you’ve made to the world around through your writing.

Writing Is Easily Incorporated into Your Busy Life

While you may not always be able to whip out your journal during the day, mornings and evenings may lend themselves to being more elastic and writing-friendly. 

For example, if you hurt your back and were advised to do strengthening exercises to alleviate the pain, you’d likely do them early or before bed.

Waking up even 10-15 minutes early to write or journaling in bed before sleep (plus, unlike yoga poses which are a little tricky to do on transit or while you’re in the dentist’s waiting room, you can grab a pen to jot a few things down mid-day) keeps your connection to your real self alive, your feelings of agency high, and your awareness that you’re doing wholesome, productive things for your whole self at the forefront of your consciousness, which holistically positively affects so much of your life.

Giving yourself the opportunity to write, wherever you are, means you’re able to release the pressure on yourself, sort out your thoughts and dive into your own mind, all bringing you toward feelings of wellness.

The upshot is rather than writing feeling like it’s yet another chore to do, it becomes your safe space, a time when you can refuel your tank. For that alone, (never mind that all that material may very well become a short story, essay, poem, or a book!) it’s invaluable.

cookies on a wood table

And if you need a bit of help easing into the writing, a bit of baking never hurt the soul much- try out my husband’s family recipe dating back to the turn of the century Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Uncle Barry’s Auntie Vi’s Ginger Snaps!

1) Cream together:

¾ c Shortening
1 c white sugar
½ c molasses
1 egg
½ tsp Salt
2 c Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda

2) Add:

2 tsp Ginger
2tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Cloves

Roll into little balls.
Dip in Sugar.

Bake 12 to 15 mins in a 350 degree oven.

Yours in writing,

Jenna Kalinsky signature

When it’s time for you to take your writing into your own hands so you feel whole, well, and ready to take on your world, check out our 31-day habit forming, fun, and engaging online course Cultivating Creativity.

Dive in to writing your novel, memoir, or business/self-development book in one of our comprehensive 4-month book-writing programs.

Or check out how it would feel to be personally supported through your writing journey by a compassionate and skilled writing coach who is there for you in all the ways you need to achieve your writing goals!

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