How Positive Writing Can Increase Life-Satisfaction
Writing is an amazing creative and emotional outlet. I know not everyone enjoys writing, but there are many different ways to use writing to infiltrate positivity into our life and to focus on more upbeat and encouraging things.
I know that since I’ve been writing here for PsychCentral, and for my personal development blog Shake off the Grind, I have had an opportunity to develop greater awareness and mindfulness about the thoughts and emotions that pervade my life.
Writing therapy has been utilized and shown effective to help people process and regulate emotions, particularly for dealing with past trauma.
Research has also shown that writing can increase peoples’ positive emotions and moods. One research study revealed that when a group of participants wrote about positive emotional experiences it related to a significant increase in measures of life-satisfaction.
Writing can help people gain a sense of mastery over the topic they are writing about, offering a greater sense of control, and can help them to identify preferred outcomes, and establish goals and solutions for problems they may be dealing with.
So, how can you start incorporating positive writing in your life? Here are a few suggestions.
Write about future life goals. By writing down where we want to be in the future it can help you visualize and move toward this desired state. Writing down goals makes them much more concrete and tangible, and can lead to a greater sense of hope and optimism for the future.
Journal about the positive experiences you had today. Many people keep journals or diaries to process their emotions and make sense of their life. By incorporating positive experiences into these entries we can increase our psychological well-being and satisfaction. The idea of a gratitude journal relates to this notion. Keeping a log of what you appreciate and feel grateful for each day will open your eyes to the blessings that surround you.
Start a blog about things and ideas that inspire you. Learning and sharing information with others is a wonderful source of self-growth and enrichment. When we learn something valuable that provides us a sense of joy, amusement, or inspiration having a source to share this with others can be very gratifying.
Write a happiness essay about your life experiences. Choose a positive and wonderful memory you have and write about this experience in as much detail as you can. Often peoples’ negative and traumatic memories are what is most easily triggered and focused on. Making effort to revisit and concentrate on your positive memories can offer a way to bring more positive emotions into your life.
Write a happy and positive song or poem. Often artistic outlets are consider to be a source of catharsis for emotional turmoil and angst, but there are many poems and songs full of positive messages about love, joy, happiness, and resilience. We can use our creativity to be more positive and to instill this in others lives.
Writing can help us to minimize the intensity of negative emotions and can also increase our level of positivity and life-satisfaction. It can help us find greater meaning and value, increase motivation, and feel more contentment. Uncovering ways to incorporate and focus on positive ideas, whether through writing, music, or movies will make a major difference in your life.
Photo credit: honor the gift
Wilner, J. (2011). How Positive Writing Can Increase Life-Satisfaction. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/positive-psychology/2011/05/how-positive-writing-can-increase-life-satisfaction/