Apr 5, 2007

On Writing as a Form of Therapy

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There have been periods of my life in which my thinking became clouded, where the burdens I shouldered seemed more than I could handle. We all go through spans of time when life stressors exceed our capacity to cope, and one therapeutic outlet for me has always been writing.

Sometimes I write to exorcise (or perhaps it should be exercise) my mental demons, and the process of creating written words serves as a way to vent anger or frustration. At other times I use writing as a means to alleviate a period of gloom, as I am prone to bouts of melancholia.

I would not advocate replacing one's psychologist or psychiatrist with a keyboard, just so we are clear. Still, there is a considerable body of literature linking the act of writing with an improvement in a person's outlook and sense of well-being.

I have read little of that material, but I know from personal experience that writing during periods of stress, anxiety, or depression can often alleviate the particular funk in which I find myself. Even as I write these words, I can feel my mood improving from the cheerless temperament I awoke with this morning.

So write, dear reader, and clear your head of the clutter that stands in the way of a decent day!