When you don't consider yourself a writer, it is natural to dismiss the notion that you should write anyway. I would like you to consider it a tool that everyone should have in their toolbox whether you fancy yourself a writer or not. The other day I received some unexpected good news late in the afternoon. By the time I went to bed, the what ifs started to explode! When I woke up the next morning I had started to anticipate all the problems I could think of with this good news. My favorite way to start the day is to sneak out onto the patio before anyone is up to pray, study my Bible and to write. On this day of swirling thoughts, I prayed about it on the patio, but my brain wouldn't stop. I needed to write it all out, but found myself resisting at first. The stubborn independent streak in me really wants to muscle through things sometimes. But no matter what, I couldn't shake the conspiracy theories that were tainting my initial excitement.
So, I wrote. I put down words to explain what I was feeling, why I was feeling that way and what I was afraid of happening. All the possibilities of failure or rejection just spilled onto the page. With every passing word, the pressure I felt in my brain started to drain out. This processing of my emotions and worries clarified what was actually valuable and what was trash built on lies and fear. Over thinking - for me - often happens at the speed of light. The new information sparks multiple rabbit trails that I can barely keep up with much less recognize their falsehood. When I write, I am slowing those thoughts down enough to truly consider them and hopefully reject the ones that aren't helpful.
As soon as I was finished writing all I had to say on the matter, I was good. The small possibilities of negative outcomes were put into their proper context. The positive aspects of the news were free to be celebrated. And emotionally and physically I was lighter. I didn't have to carry around this toxic bag of fear and worry which can viciously disrupt my life.
You may never pen plays for Broadway or poetry for the ages, but writing to gain a better attitude and mental state - especially in this age of chronic depression and anxiety - is worth it!
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