You have enough to remember over the course of a day. Forgetting an important task can be the source of a great deal of stress. Not remembering to pay a bill on time can affect your financial profile. Forgetting to pick up your child from an after school activity can make the child feel anxious and cause you to feel guilty. Forgetting a friend or family member’s birthday can make you feel as if you have to overcompensate to make up for your actions. All these experiences can have quantifiable real world consequences. In addition to impacting your finances, relationships, and self-perception, these situations can be very taxing on your energy level and motivation. While many of us are in the habit of writing things down, most of us overlook the many ways writing can help us save our energy and contribute to our sense of peace of mind.
Writing for “Energy Conservation”
One of the most obvious ways writing can help you save your energy is by freeing up mental real estate you would otherwise allocate to actively trying to remember tasks and other important information. Sometimes, people who are not already in the habit of regularly writing down daily reminders may feel intimidated by the thought of organizing their thoughts and activities on paper. In reality, writing can take whatever form is most helpful to the individual. To-do lists, calendars, and notebooks are helpful starting points that can be customized to meet the individual’s needs.
Writing for Mental Clarity
Journaling is a very flexible, practical activity that can help us feel renewed when we may otherwise feel mentally drained. Using a journal should not be stressful. Therefore, format, regularity of writing sessions, and nature of content may vary widely depending on the writer. A journal is the perfect place for making “pros and cons” lists when making decisions, drawing brain maps when planning, freestyle writing, and simply making personal notes. The vicious cycle of replaying an incident in your mind or trying to think through a conflict can be mentally and emotionally draining. Physically writing these ideas down and working through them on paper can have the effect of freeing your mind and curbing the temptation to spend hours withdrawn and obsessing over recurring thoughts. The act of writing these thoughts down can create a sense of relief that is similar to the way you may feel after talking to a trustworthy friend.
Writing for Improved Mental Health
The process of writing, whether for practical organizing reasons or for mental and emotional clarity, forces us to slow down and deliberate. When implementing writing as a strategy to help you remain organized or to remember important information, your brain is better able to retain information you have written down. Writing for mental and emotional health allows us to take a step back and process our experiences, which can ultimately help us make better decisions and feel less inclined to unnecessarily hold on to excess mental stress.