The Healing Power of Writing

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by Mita Mistry, Holistic Therapist

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

The journey of illness can be a long and lonely one. Whether you are recovering from surgery, cancer, going through a stressful period, grief or any condition that compromises “normal” living, it can be a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows.

You can take control of fluctuating thoughts and emotions by chanelling your energy into journaling. Keeping a journal is not only good for your soul, but for your body too. It is widely recommended by therapists to supplement treatment. New research by psychologists Dr James Pennebaker of the University of Texas and Dr Joshua Smyth of Syracuse University suggests that writing about emotions and stress can boost immunity in patients with HIV/AIDS, asthma and arthritis as well as offering physical benefits to people battling terminal or life-threatening diseases.

The healing power of writing lies in helping you to understand and learn from your emotions. When you are deeply in touch with your needs you are better able to cope with obstacles. Journaling is like having an inner conversation with your mind, body and emotions bringing them together in wholeness. It’s your story; you can write as if you were consoling yourself, vent an outburst of emotions or write to discover where you have been and to decide where you are going.

When you experience a physical symptom or negative emotion, try this; sit with your journal and have a conversation with yourself. Talk to your headache, your lower back pain, your anger or your nausea. Ask questions and listen to the responses. As you write the conversation, you are opening yourself to a voyage of amazing discoveries, to assumptions and emotions that subconsciously block you from healing. The creative expression in journaling will help you to move around obstacles allowing healing to take place. When you approach emotional dilemmas creatively, their grip on you often dissolves.

When you are not feeling well the last thing you may think of is journaling, but it could be the start of an enlightening discovery about what your body is trying to tell you.

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