Hobbies that calm you down: Writing (I can attest to this)

There are two reasons why I decided to start this blog. One was to find and share ways to manage stress and lower anxiety and two is because writing, for me, is a good way to let out some of my pent up stress energy.

By USMC Archives from Quantico, USA (“Writing the Letter”) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Whenever I sit down and start writing about something, I focus entirely on that one thing I’m writing, so I forget about the stresses of the world for a little while. You can look at it as a form of meditation or as a way to distract yourself from the things around you, or both.

Sometimes if something is stressing me out a lot then I write about the thing which is stressing me out, like a sort of stress diary (today my computer broke down while I was finishing up an important document. I don’t know why it happened; I was just tapping on the keyboard when suddenly the screen went blank. I tried restarting the computer but nothing happened. I had to call in the repair guy, he said something had fried inside and it would take a few days for them to fix it. This sucks, not only do I not have a computer but I don’t know if that document I was working on got saved. I can only hope it did, it was very important).

2008 broken computer monitor 2482389516

By youngthousands from usa (IMG_3183) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Letting it out and putting the problem down in words helps me put things in perspective and look at it from another angle; maybe there’s a way I can solve my problem, maybe things will work themselves out somehow.
It also helps me measure how much I might be thinking about it and whether I might be obsessing over it, (Oh crap what if that file wasn’t saved? what if it got corrupted? That was a really important file and I need to hand in the work by Monday. I might have to start all over again, but that’s a lot of work and I don’t have enough time. What am I going to do?). Remember I have OCD. If I realise that I am obsessing over something, then I can start thinking of ways to either fix the problem completely or work on ignoring the thought, overthinking a point doesn’t help anyone.

Writing is not just good for distracting or letting out your fears and emotions, it can also be good as a creative outlet. You could write some fan fiction, you could write a short story or a novel; heck you might become the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King or Terry Pratchet or (insert your favourite author here); you could become a screenwriter and write the next blockbuster hit.

Heck you could even start your own blog if you wanted to.
Well, those are my reasons for why I think writing can help out with stress and anxiety; but if you need more evidence, you can always check out this article from huffingtonpost.com titled,” 5 Ways Keeping a Journal Can Help You De-Stress.”. To sum it up, these are the points they cover. Keeping a journal:

  • Forces you to unplug and recharge
  • Gratitude journaling (listing positive events) can make you happier
  • Writing in a diary can reduce stress
  • Journaling can help you to “throw away” negative thoughts
  • It’s empowering

You can check out the article if you want more details.

There is also this article from everydayhealth.com called, “Journal Your Way to Stress Relief” by Krisha McCoy, MS. This one is a short article which talks about how keeping a journal can help you reduce stress. It even tells how you can start your own stress relief diary; go ahead and check it out.

So there you have it, another way to help manage your stress and anxiety. Next time you’re stressed out beyond belief, try writing it all down. I can’t say with a 100% certainty that it will work for you but it doesn’t hurt to try.

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