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A Beginner’s Guide to Using Writing Therapy to Enhance Personal Growth

What do you do when you’re feeling sad or low?

Maybe you reach out to friends or stay in bed watching your favorite series on TV.

Have you ever considered turning to writing as a therapy?

Studies have shown that those who write about their most traumatic or stressful experiences experience better health outcomes.

The stories we tell ourselves give us meaning in our lives. Writing therapy helps you explore the stories you tell yourself, the feelings associated with those events, and what meanings we can draw from events.

Writing can be a powerful, low-cost, and easily accessible therapy. Getting your thoughts and words onto pages empowers you to work through difficulties.

Writing therapy gives you a safe space to track your progress and self-reflect.

Writing therapy can help you sort through your stories and feelings around grief, anxiety, life transitions, or even stress.

While writing may not always be a complete replacement for therapy, it’s still a tool you can use to work through your thoughts. It’s also a tool that can complement your regular therapy appointments.

Writing therapy is a guided way for you to interact with and analyze events that happen in your life.

Through writing therapy, you explore your beliefs around those events – and how your beliefs might trigger certain feelings.

There are many beautiful writing notebooks that inspire you and make you want to write more, so check out what is available and find a notebook that you love to write in.

Follow these journal prompts to start exploring your thoughts:

1. Start your day with Morning Pages.

Morning Pages, a daily practice popularized by Julia Cameron, are three pages of unfiltered writing.

This daily practice of filling three pages with your unfiltered thoughts can help clear your mind to start the day fresh.

* Make It Easy

Don’t make it a huge deal, and it’ll be simpler to get done.

For example, it’s easier to use a notebook and paper than a computer for most people.

You can have the book in your bag or on your bedside table or wherever you plan to write in it.

2. The WDEP Model (Wants, Doing, Evaluate, Plan).

It can help you feel more in control about your daily decisions.

The WDEP Model can help you think about what you want and whether or not you are making the choices needed to get what you want.

● Wants. What do you want?

● Doing. What are you doing to get what you want?

● Evaluate. Is what you are doing helping you get to what you want?

● Plan. Can you make a more effective plan to get what you want?

3. The ABC Model (Activating Event, Beliefs, Consequences).

We tend to think that activating events leads to consequences.

This can help you explore your beliefs and reflect about your emotions.

● Activating Event.

The event that triggers an emotion or thoughts.

● Beliefs.

What you believe or think about the activating event. Our beliefs are the part that often subconsciously get overlooked.

● Consequences.

The emotions we feel as a result of the activating event and our beliefs.

* Combine It with Something Else You Enjoy Doing

If you enjoy cleaning the house, then reading in your clean house with the windows open and the breeze flowing in, why not journal at that moment?

If it’s a daily thing, add journaling to it, and it’ll create a habit fast.

4. Self-Contract.

Do you want to change something in your life?

What do you want to change?

Write a contract to yourself about how you will make changes in your life to reach your goal.

A great way to track your selfgrowth and personal development is to write a Line a Day in a multi year journal. You can see at a glance where you were a year or two earlier and how much you have progressed, or come closer to your goals.

One simple form of Line-A-Day journal is this series of Three Year Journals which includes a monthly summary page to review your thoughts in.

5. Love letter to yourself.

How often do you appreciate and acknowledge yourself?

Writing yourself a love letter, or letter of gratitude, can be a great space for you to build a positive relationship with yourself.

Learning to acknowledge your growth and achievements needs to happen in bite size stages. To develop a new habit (maybe to replace a bad old habit) takes 60-90 days for it to become second nature, something you no longer even have to think about, its just on automatic-pilot.

I found that my plans work best when I set a 90 day plan of action, and track how I am going daily. I created these 90 day planners to meet many needs… to be an organize/diary/planner, to manage finances, health, self development, and to inspire me to stick to my plans.

And then I added weekly and monthly reviews in it, so that I can ponder what I did well, what did not work, what I would do differently or more of etc. and this kept my focus where it was needed.

Growing to admire and love yourself is something that very few people have their heads around! Using a tool like the 90 day Personal Journal might just be what helps you to grow into this stage of personal development!

And since you can get them Monogrammed with your name initial, that will be even more of a sign of self awareness and self care!

6. Gratitude.

Studies have shown that gratitude has a positive impact on a person’s well-being.

Integrating gratitude journaling into your routine can increase your happiness and well-being.

Writing therapy can be a great tool to investigate your feelings or reflect about what you want in life.

You can use writing therapy as a tool to fuel your own personal growth.

Using a gorgeous illustrated Gratitude Journal that has creative writing prompts helps to inspire you and to guide you in your writing.

I have created a series of guided gratefulness journals in different themes like, floral, angels, fun unicorns, inspirational quotes, dogs & cats, among others. Please do check the range out and see if any particular theme or design resonates with you to get your creative writing flowing.

* Use a Particular Type of Journal

For some people, using a style of journaling like bullet journaling, prayer journaling, project journaling, and more, works better since it defines some rules for entry.

Try it today and feel the difference!

Exploring your beliefs and feelings using the journal prompts above can help you work through difficult emotions.

By giving yourself a place to process your feelings, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to be happier and healthier.

This practice can be an empowering form of self-care!

If you love the idea of creating a DIY form of journal with prompts, illustrations, stickers and whatever makes you happy, you should check out the #BuJo also known as Bullet Journaling, which uses a dot grid page as a guide to creating your own layouts and illustrations.

I created a series of delightful themes in this style, that also has simple instructions for how to create a #BulletJournal and has examples of illustrations and layouts to help you get started.

This can be a fun way to move further along after using a simple notebook, but not wanting to be restricted to specific guided journal formats.

Tips for Making Journaling Part of Your Daily Routine

The way to ensure that journaling works for you is to do it long term.

Long-term journaling gives you more insight into your life because you’ll be able to look to the past, present, and even the future (sort of) to get answers in your life.

But first, you have to do it. And you need to do it daily to make it a habit.

Consider Using Journaling Prompts – You can also find journaling prompts online for any type of journal you want to use.

Reward Yourself – When you have been diligent for a month writing in your journal, take some time to read what you wrote, then reward yourself for doing it.

You might buy some colored pens or some scrapbooking materials so you can add some definition and interest to your journal.

To truly experience the full benefits of journaling, it needs to be done most days, which is why you need to find a way to incorporate journaling into your everyday life.

The best way to accomplish this is to make it easy and turn it into a habit.

* Add Some Relaxing Music to Set the Mood

Now it’s true that some people prefer silence, so that’s fine if you do.

But consider trying some music that doesn’t have words and that is relaxing, to help you gather your thoughts and say calm and focused.

Do You Use Writing Therapy to Enhance Your Personal Development?

Journaling is a powerful, affordable, and easy to do self therapy.

I have journaled for decades now as I find it a great way to think things through and to plan my actions and solutions.

Usually I had to create my own journal page layouts as I could never find one that suited me perfectly. Now I have created a huge selection of notebooks and journals I will always have a perfect one to use!

CLICK HERE >> to see the complete range!

Do you make your own layouts or do you prefer the guided journals with writing prompts and activities already set out for you?

Let me know in the comments below what YOU do and what style of notebook you prefer, you never know, you might inspire me to create something based on your suggestions!

Thanks for visiting me here, I hope you found this page interesting and fun, and that you will use the suggestions featured here!

– Helene Malmsio

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Meet The Author

Helene Malmsio

Australian retired Businesswoman, Marketer and Trainer. Now a webmaster, author/ publisher of self help and health books and a Webnuggetz contributor - I guess I like to 'communicate' a lot - lol!

Be sure to visit me at https://www.discoveryhub.net

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