Let me start with two dissimilar stories.
Mr. Wilson is a brilliant hard-working manager. Within a short span, he has risen to a top position and became SBU head. He almost daily attends a number of meetings & parties with his various clients & VIPs with lots of alcohol and rich food. His day starts at 8 AM sharp but there is no fixed time for ending, sometimes midnight or even later. Even then, he carries a lot of homework in his briefcase and he keeps thinking about the next day’s work. His life goes like this and by the time he is 40, he found a new place for relaxation – The Intensive Care Unit.
Ramnath is a lazy clerk in a government office. He has a secure job with a fat undisclosed income but a nagging boss (according to him!) who keeps on finding fault with him. This makes him tense. On the way home, he fights either with the bus conductor or with a fellow passenger. Reaching home, he shouts at his wife, beats the children, and picks up a quarrel with the neighbour, all for very minor reasons. He has no time for relaxation.
What is common between these two persons? They simply do not know how to relieve their stress.
In this stressful life, people are sometimes ready to wreak vengeance against the stress-generating system. However, such drastic steps mostly add fuel to the fire called stress and often may be suicidal.
2.0 Writing as a Healer:
Sounds strange but real!
Writing has miraculous healing power irrespective of what we are writing down - fact or fiction. There are actual & measurable research data that confirm the healing power of writing. It can heal our past trauma, strengthen our immune system, and help us all around to feel better. Along with this, it brings in an intangible improvement in our mood.
An attempt to write something is basically an invitation to find our inner voice. This invitation helps us to divert our thought processes and channel our minds towards tranquility. An additional benefit of writing is that it helps us to gain confidence in ourselves, to knit our ideas, and guide us to move through the world.
Writing is like exercising where mental benefits are flourished with regular practice. Writing improves language skills, vocabulary, and spelling skills; it introduces new ideas, perspectives, and information; it staves off the effects of aging by keeping our mind active; it provides a vehicle for mental escape and creativity; and it relaxes, entertains, and inspires our soul.
3.0 The Stress Busters:
Many stress busters are suggested to help us in this journey of stress syndrome and coming out of its vicious cycle. Research shows that activities like yoga, dance, pranayam, spiritual activities, prayer, music, exercise, etc. are deeply effective. However, writing is not a popular stress relieving activity. Writing makes our life easier because it reduces our anxiety, lifts us out of the brief moments of depression, clarifies our vision, boosts our confidence, improves our immune system, etc.
Writing is one of the important feel-good factors and one of the simplest ones. As relaxation is simply the state of mind, writing helps you to divert your stressful mind towards a soothing space.
According to me, writing is not just jotting something down. It is prayer, spirituality, self-discovery, communication, therapy, and connection. The simple act of writing gives us a tangible, accessible, and remarkably effective tool, which often does not look simple or tangible at all. Nevertheless, writing is also a purposive communication tool.
You may have a surprise question – “Does any type of writing relieves stress and heals?”
The answer is ‘Yes, it is’.
Writing is creating something where there is nothing. Generally, there are two types of writing – Fiction and Non-fiction. Fiction makes us more creative. It stretches our power of imagination; helps us to think differently. Hence, relaxes us more. Additionally, it helps us to access our inner wisdom and guide our life, which itself is ecstatic.
For me, writing was never an epiphany but evolved as a hobby about twenty-five years back, when I showed my willingness, at a pass time, to take part in various slogan and essay competitions. Gradually, I realized that I have become passionate about it and it has become an area of my expertise. Finally, the toddler tantrum voice inside of me made me a published author. Additionally, the best part was, it helped me to come out with one of modern days’ diseases called hypertension.
4.0 More about Writing:
The second question may come to your mind, “I am a novice. How do I start?”
My simple suggestion is initially to start writing a diary of daily log. But it must have what ‘new, better & different’ you have done or happened on that day (today) and also ‘new, better & different’ you are planning to do for the next day (tomorrow). The idea is to go backward before you move forward so that some churning takes place in your mind.
Please adopt the mantra, “Write Now, Edit Later”. This mantra will help you to find joy in your writing and your life. Shortly, you will realize that it is an incredible gift of clarity and you are sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings about various subjects. Soon you will discover that writing is a therapy that acts as a stress buster.
The third question may be about the time & place of writing. The answer is anytime and anywhere. My favorite writing time is travelling by bus or train, preferably when seated at the window side corner. This helped me not only to utilize my unproductive time but also to provide relief from the monotony of travelling.
To conclude, I suggest, spending some time writing & relaxing, which brings out the best in you, not the stress in you.