The benefits of writing your thoughts down 

By Sarah Cannata

I wouldn’t know what to do without the ability to write. Chances are, I’d wind up in many more sticky situations. I would make more decisions that don’t align with where I see myself going in life. And I’d have other issues.

As an introvert, digesting my thoughts is essential to making sense of the world. When I receive information that shocks or puzzles me, my default position is not to express my thoughts and feelings verbally. In the moment, I feel myself blocking out the world and processing information. If you’re a millennial, you’ll remember the show Charmed. This process feels like when Piper freezes time with her powers. (Apologies if I am mixing my witches up.) This delayed reaction isn’t necessarily helpful in a world primed for instant gratification. Nevertheless, it’s how I tick.

Here are three benefits of writing your thoughts down.

We can work our way through potentially difficult conversations

I loathe confrontation. I avoid it like the plague. However, navigating our way through potentially uncomfortable conversations is a much-needed skill. I’ve discovered this since committing myself to ceasing to be a ‘yes’ person. Whenever I anticipate having a heated discussion, I write down my thoughts to articulate myself more clearly. By organising my thoughts, I go into conversations far more prepared and can plan out a few scenarios. Let’s face it, sometimes these conversations still end up being a complete disaster, but at least I have a better grasp on my thinking. 

Writing helps with problem-solving

Have you ever written out a scenario, logic-checked it, and come to a completely different conclusion? I have. If you’re an overthinker and are prone to catastrophising, this is a beneficial exercise as it helps you to analyse situations more objectively. I often make pros and cons lists, especially when faced with a decision I feel confused about.

Exploring with curiosity

I’ve learned a lot about myself through the words I’ve written over the years. When faced with something I don’t want to hear or take in, I often go into shutdown. I need time to process and collect my thoughts. During such times, it’s essential to give ourselves time and space to explore the root of our feelings with a curious mind. So often, there is more underneath the surface-level emotions that demand our attention. For example, I was recently angry about a particular situation I found myself in. I let myself sit with the anger for a few days and felt where the anger sat in my body. Through my daily writing practice, I soon understood I was offended and annoyed. When you feel and process what you need to, the emotions often become less all-encompassing. 

Overall, embodied writing is a powerful tool for self-improvement, self-expression, and self-awareness. There is healing power in the hands, so I suggest you handwrite or type. (Rather than use a dictaphone, for example. However, if that works for you, go for it.)

Writing your thoughts down is a powerful tool for self-improvement, self-expression and self-awareness. With embodied writing, we’re not engaging in a massive brain dump or an out-of-body experience. We are feeling the felt sense of the body as we write. Connecting the words on the page to the sensations in our physical body as we write. The benefits of writing your thoughts down will be different for everyone. Writing is an essential part of my toolkit regarding my mental and emotional well-being.

Love the idea of having a regular writing practice but have no idea where to start?

Storytelling for the Soul’s Write Your Way to Healing Quick Start Guide has been downloaded over 1000 times and is designed to teach busy people like you how to use embodied writing as a healing tool. In just 5 easy-to-follow steps, this PDF arms you with the basics for writing your way to healing and includes writing prompts to get you started. Set aside 10 minutes a day (or whatever you can manage) to write. Download the free PDF.

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