Creating Something Meaningful Can Motivate You to Journal About Your Emotional Conflict
Writing about your feelings and challenging life experiences is a healthy coping mechanism. A 2018 study shows that journaling is associated with less depressive symptoms and anxiety after 1 month and greater resilience after the first and second month. Studies also show that journal writing may help you identify and work through feelings, improve relationships, and learn new things about yourself.
Creativity Reduces Anxiety and Stress
It can reduce anxiety and boost your mood when you lose a sense of yourself and time because you are so focused on something. As you focus on creating a poem, you are no longer focusing on negative thinking and stress patterns. Completing your poem can give you a sense of accomplishment causing your brain to become flooded with dopamine, the feel-good chemical that is a natural anti-depressant and motivator.
You are also reframing your pain into a different perspective. Gaining a new perspective on your circumstances can help you find solutions and healthy ways to cope. It can also help you navigate your challenges more effectively in the future.
It Can Make You More Resilient
Everyone faces challenges in life. People that are emotionally and mentally resilient are the ones that have learned the tools to cope in healthy ways that promote personal growth. Creativity helps you to tap into your inner resources and find solutions. With time and practice, as you make creativity a habit, you will learn to see your difficult circumstances as an opportunity for growth. Instead of getting stuck, the next time you face a new challenge, you will have a newfound ability to face it with greater confidence.
One morning, during my daily meditation, as I was wrestling with grief over a situation with a family member, I remembered someone sharing with me about their hobby of writing Haiku poetry. That morning I decided for the first time, since probably the third grade, to write a Haiku. Condensing the intense emotion and pain into 3 lines and 17 syllables left me with a smile and a feeling of deep satisfaction. I created something meaningful to reflect on and see the beauty amidst the pain. “Finding one’s voice via poetic means can be a healing process because it opens up the opportunity for self-expression not otherwise felt through everyday words”.
Maybe you tried writing Poetry in the past and it wasn’t your thing. That’s okay. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not be right for you. Discover the creative outlet that works for you. For some people, it may be crocheting or playing a musical instrument. Whatever creative activity you decide to go with the key is not to give up if things do not change immediately. With persistence and the belief that investing time in your self-care can make a difference- you too can experience the benefits of feeding your soul.
If you are struggling with managing stress or coping with a difficult life transition we are here for you. Holistic Mental Health Counseling offers online therapy in Orlando and throughout Florida to help you find the support that your need. If you are interested in one-on-one sessions, contact us for a free 15-minute consultation.
Jennifer Sierra, LMHC
- Stahl, Ashley. (2018) Here’s How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health. Retrieved from: Here’s How Creativity Actually Improves Your Health (forbes.com)
- Stuckey, Heather L. DEd, and Nobel, Jeremy MD, MPH (2010) The connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature. American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved from: doi 2105/AJPH.2008.15649
- Smyth M. Joshua MD, Johnson A. Jillian PhD, Auer J. Brandon PhD, Lehman, Erik MS, Talamo, Giampaolo MD and Sciamanna, N. Christopher, MD, MPH. (2018) Online Positive Affect Journalling in The Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-being in General Medical Patients with Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Mental Health. Retrieved from: doi 2196/11290