Writing is a superb way to solidify your thoughts and feelings. It is also a great way to incite action in your life and subsequently become a better writer. I’ve been exposed to the writing process and have experienced first-hand the benefits of writing to bring more success and happiness. If becoming a professional writer isn’t on your bucket list, that’s okay! The idea here is to use your writing skills to organize your mind, body, and life. In essence, the solution sounds so simple; it’s almost ridiculous! In fact, the benefits of writing are enormous. I’d like to share ways writing can positively transform your life and mental health. Much like artists and musicians, good writers understand that the process of writing comes from balance. Writing is a gateway to ideas, dreams, goals, and success. All in all, the power of the written word can revolutionize nations, heal hearts and control the masses. It may seem like a simple step, but truly harnessing your inner mind and emotional state can be as easy as picking up a pen and getting the words down visually.
Here are 9 example ideas to get you started on your journey so you can reap the benefits of writing!
1. Draft your personal obituary.
This type of writing may seem a little morbid, but taking the time to script your obituary can be revealing. Surprisingly, this is effective on many levels. The act of writing your own obituary can greatly improve a person’s fear of death. Altogether, this analysis allows time for measuring accomplishments and lends the opportunity to make adjustments within your life. Before you start writing your own, read through the obituaries in the paper to get in touch with what is being written about others. Most obituaries chronologically describe the life and achievements of the person. What would you like to see in your obituary? Use your imagination. Write your obituary describing your intended achievements and hallmarks of your life as if they had already occurred. The benefit of writing your own obituary is that your friends and family will all have this task completed to perfection before they ever need it. Be inspired by Mark Twain, who shared, “Let us so live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.”
“Let us so live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.” – Mark Twain
2. Scribe a story in which you are the hero.
Every great story has a hero, no matter the age, no matter the culture. You are the hero of your story. Creative writing is fun! Use your imagination and write a short story with you featured as the hero. What complex ideas will you derive? Dream about what obstacles will you face on your journey. Illustrate, what challenges will you defeat. With this in mind, define your prize for moving forward and overcoming your adversity. Live the adventure on paper, and then go live your life with the same purpose. This first draft doesn’t have to be the whole story. You can keep writing. To illustrate your your character’s evolution, base it on your life events. This expressive writing may even boost you to try things that you may have previously been too self-conscious or unmotivated to try.
3. Write a full page of beneficial affirmations.
What is your internal dialogue? A point overlooked is, how does your inner dialogue make you feel? All in, does it lift you up or does it bring you down? Communication research shows that the average person carries on an internal dialogue at the rate of 500 to 600 words per minute. Unfortunately, most of that dialogue is negative. One incredible way to interrupt negative thinking is to recall and silently recite affirmations. Here are some examples: “I have an abundance of positive energy.” “I am confident in my abilities.” “I take action to achieve my goals.” Write a list of affirmations and display it in a conspicuous place such as on your refrigerator, pinned up on your office or cubicle wall, or tapped on your bedroom door. Frequently, reference this list. Altogether, the emotional benefits of writing positive affirmations will help you make better decisions in your daily life.
4. You will benefit by writing a list of positive qualities you possess.
It’s easy to forget our strengths if we focus on our weaknesses. Draft a list of your positive attributes. The first time you try this step, it may be difficult to start writing. Practice those communication skills and reach out to others. Getting feedback from your friends, family, and other associates is a good idea. Review and savor your positive qualities. Refer to this list whenever you feel the need to get supercharged. Overall, seeing a list of your greatest passions, strengths, and accomplishments benefits your well-being.
“All that is needed to make a happy life is within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
5. Write a contract with yourself.
Contracts hold agreements intact. Write a contract with yourself describing what you are willing to do in order to achieve your goals. In fact, writing your goals is a profound step in the right direction. What actions will you take, what behaviors will you engage in to achieve your goals, and by when? Perhaps it will be a pledge to limit time at a computer screen or to spend less time on your smartphone. Markedly, challenge yourself to spend several consecutive days going outside for your physical health. Whatever you decide, it is certain that this will improve your self-awareness and get you into a more positive mindset. Once you have decided, sign your name and add the date to your contract. Have a witness do the same. Give this contract to someone who will hold you accountable for following through.
6. Correspond a letter to a friend or family member.
Much appreciated is a letter from a kindred spirit. A short note or a lengthy letter, whichever you choose to offer, will be graciously accepted. Did you know that most Americans haven’t written a personal letter on paper in over five years? According to CBS News, it’s true! Social media has given us many private messaging options to make this a very easy option. Connecting with people, we care about holds a tremendous amount of significance. Don’t overthink writing letters; it doesn’t have to be a novel. Take five minutes out of your busy schedule to get in touch with old acquaintances and reconnect with family members in writing.
7. Make a record of your ideas.
Every day your brain processes ideas that can simplify your life. Each great invention started with an idea. The initial solution itself probably did not work but writing it down infused the idea with life. Ideas can change the world. Keep a small notebook with you and write down ideas as soon as they come to you. Trust the writing process. Your enjoyment of writing will grow. Write down any questions for which you need answers. Let your subconscious work out a solution through the pen.
8. Draw up a personal mission statement.
Many successful companies, both large and small, use mission statements. Companies such as Federal Express, Ford Motor Company, J. C. Penney, and Microsoft utilize the power of mission statements to direct their decisions and actions. Write a mission statement for your life. Including, what is your personal credo or code of conduct? Coupled with, what is your long-term purpose? Together with, what kind of person do you want to be? How do you want to be remembered? Write it down and commit it to memory. The benefits of writing mission statements are that this statement will serve as a reminder of your core values and goals. John Stuart Mill said it best, “He who lets the world, or his portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need for any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation.
9. Author your autobiography in advance.
Schedule time away from everything and everyone and outline your life from the perspective of living to 100 and looking back. Fill in your major accomplishments, the challenges you overcame, and the people you touched. The adventures you experienced.
Enjoy the benefits of writing
Best of success to you!