Why You Should Start Writing for Peace of Mind

A girl writing with a pen on paper for peace of mind

Writing is one of those activities that too people shy away from. That’s pretty unfortunate because it can be a great way to clear your mind and get a better handle on your thoughts—which will make you more focused and mentally organized.

Here’s the most important part to know: you don’t actually have to be good at writing to reap all of these benefits and have a whole lot of fun.

Throughout our day, we have a lot of stuff going on. We have a lot of thoughts and ideas and things we’d like to remember, but more often than not, these musings get swept under the mental rug, so to speak. Getting yourself into the habit of writing every day won’t just help you retain these thoughts (and potentially set them into action later), it’ll also help keep you organized. You’ll be able to sift through your thoughts and discard the good ones from the bad or silly ones.

If you spend just 15 minutes every day writing down your thoughts, you’ll notice a difference almost immediately. What you write about is largely irrelevant, just as long as you’re taking your thoughts and putting them down. It could be a brief summary of your day and how the major events made you feel, it could be about goals or things you want to do in the future, or it could even be a short list of all the things you appreciate.

Shopping lists don’t count.

You don’t even have to be super positive about what you write. In a bad mood? Write about what caused you to feel that way. As you write, your thoughts will take a more solid shape, and you’ll get a better perspective on why you’re feeling bad—and maybe why you’re overreacting. When you’re done, re-read what you wrote and think about it. Is it an accurate, honest description? Is it how you really feel? What changes could you make to improve the situation?

A girl writing in her journal

Don’t worry about spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. It doesn’t matter. This writing isn’t for anyone but you—think of it like a very random version of a journal. Journals typically have some structure and a purpose (to write about that day). I encourage you to do that too, maybe even start with that if you’re not sure what to write about. But the kind of writing I’m talking about here is more free-form, more random. If it’s on your mind, write about it—it doesn’t matter if it happened five years ago or it’s something you want to happen five years from now.

You’ll be tempted to use your computer to do this style of writing (along with probably 99% of the rest of the writing you do). Don’t. Here’s why: when you actually sit down in front of a pad or a physical journal, with a real-life pen and not a keyboard, you have to think a whole lot more about what you’re writing. For most of us, writing with a pen is considerably slower than typing.

The goal here is to take your time and organize your thoughts, and by having to physically write them down and think about each word (and leaving the backspace key behind), you’ll have a much better chance of doing this effectively.

What do you want to write about today?