Research has found that expressive writing is a very valuable tool for helping us to enhance our self-awareness and emotionally process what we are going through in life. Writing regularly has been shown to decrease anxiety, reduce stress and even decrease the symptoms of depression. By increasing our self-awareness, we can learn from our interactions and experiences, and ultimately move forward in life. You can use your own personal writing to record your hopes and dreams for the future, it can help you to discover what you really want out of life,  so you can ultimately get going with your plans.

Reading and writing poetry

You don’t need a degree in Creative Writing to be able to write poetry. A poem doesn’t have to rhyme, and it doesn’t need to use Shakespearean language. Neither does a poem have to always be about the universal themes of love and death. A poem can be a wonderful way of expressing yourself without needing to write a full story. Reading some sad poetry can help you to understand how poignant and honest a poem can be. It can show you that poems can be literal, or abstract, flowing or sharp, there are no rules. Writing poetry can then help you express the emotions that you have inside, without being judged, and without needing to vocalize your feelings. Getting those feelings onto paper will give you the chance to analyze them and mentally move forward.

Keeping a journal

Journaling has been taking the world by storm, and is all over Instagram. This is giving a somewhat unrealistic view of the true purpose of keeping a journal. It doesn’t have to be full of picture-perfect pretty pictures, stickers and doodles, and it certainly doesn’t matter if you don’t get your to-do list done every month. What a journal can do for you however, is get you in the habit of writing every day. You can use it as a paper friend, who you tell the events of the day to, or you can simply jot down a few notes to describe how you are feeling. You can write 3 lines, or 3 pages, there is no right or wrong when it comes to keeping a journal.

Writing about the past

Your expressive writing is a way of gaining perspective on past events, and exploring how what you have experienced affects your decisions moving forward. Research has found that expressive writing actually promotes self-distancing, allowing you to consider your experiences in a very lateral and straightforward way. It has been described as a way of stepping back to move forward. Think of your pen and paper as being your own personal therapist – it can help you analyze the past, so you know how to change things for the better in the future.

Your creative writing can help you to express your emotions and learn from them. Through a journal and poetry you can discover more about your true self and this will help you to move forward with your hopes and dreams.