One way to manage negative experiences is to write about them. Writing about problems is a way to relieve one’s mind from them.
Writing as a form of therapy is nothing new.
It may have started since the earliest form of documentation existed, but people have always been keen on keeping track of their days, emotions, and opinions. Whether on leaves or marking walls in their caves, they have always been willing to share a piece of their lives for people to relish. This expression has recently faced insurmountable success as modern practitioners encourage people to journal, log, and transform their experiences into creative writing.
Just as people are advised to talk their feelings out, they experience a new level of relief whenever they express their feelings through writing. It’s like unburdening one’s heart from the shackles that entrapped them in pain by scribbling away. It’s transforming emotions into words and healing through the verses one forms with them.
Why Writing About Problems Should Be Encouraged
In the Spanish American War memoir book by Virginia R. Degner, readers vicariously witness the hardships soldiers experienced throughout the period. As a memoir, it aims to document and communicate a portion of the author or the character’s life for the readers’ understanding. It breaks down an event in the character’s life, detailing it for the readers to relive and envision. The Letters of C.M. Case recounts the character Calvin Milton Case’s memories during the Spanish-American War, which spanned from 1901 to 1905.
Although a memoir, the book isn’t exactly written as a narrative. Instead, it’s composed of letters Calvin has written to his family and granddaughter, Virginia Degner. It may be too much of a conclusion from this information alone. Still, one can deduce that Calvin used writing to alleviate feelings of isolation and fear throughout the war. Not only did he write to provide wisdom to his family waiting for him, but also to provide him comfort and ease as the war went on.
His reason is only the tip to an overwhelming iceberg of benefits in writing about problems and life in general. Writing about these events can be equivalent to letting out steam without putting one at risk of injuries and even more problems. Writing about issues opens raw emotions, allowing people to pour their hearts out and arrive at a peaceful closure by the end of it. This process might not be as transformative as a regular trip to therapy, but it’s a procedure on its own. Given that there’s no way to avoid adversities in life, it’s time that people welcome more means to cope with them.
What’s So Therapeutic About This Process?
Writing equals expressing whatever one feels. It’s unloading unspoken thoughts and bringing to the forefront emotions that would have been buried and left unaddressed. Whenever people are writing about problems, they’re putting their experiences and vulnerabilities on paper.
But what makes it so different from sharing one’s thoughts with others?
Given how writing about problems is a personal process, with the author having initial access to it, people are free to be as vulnerable as they want. They can express their deepest, darkest thoughts without fear that others will judge their sentiments. Nothing should hold them back from expressing themselves unless they plan on publishing their materials. Writing about problems is similar to opening a dam of unresolved emotions and slowly unraveling them for a resolution.
It Provides Mental Clarity
Often, when people are under massive amounts of stress, they become overwhelmed with emotions. Everything gets lumped in their brains, chaotic and heavy in their minds. Writing about problems and putting everything on paper forced people to organize their thoughts. Straightening the jumbled difficulties one by one, they can slowly resolve and clear them out, allowing more space in their minds for more consequential affairs. Reflecting on these problems on paper also helps people become more aware of emotions or thoughts they might have subconsciously pushed back.
Writing about problems can become an outlet for people’s emotions, which might build up and weigh them down. By expressing these on paper, they can slowly work through tricky and challenging feelings to understand themselves better. This process helps increase people’s mental clarity as they gradually release their pent-up emotions. Without anyone giving advice, simply writing about problems can also help people develop problem-solving skills.
Once they’ve already expressed their feelings, it’s time to determine resolutions to their problems. Writing about problems doesn’t only stop after emotions have been transferred on pen and paper. People can go beyond and find solutions to these problems, allowing them to better handle similar situations in the future. Notebooks become a good therapist that listens to people.