Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, and it seems relevant to talk about writing fiction, and the positive way it can impact your mental health. I’m sure a lot of writers write as an outlet, so I thought it’d be appropriate to talk about 5 of the reasons writing fiction is good for you mental health.
Writing is cathartic
There’s just something about the act of writing that’s cathartic. It’s relaxing, calming, and allows you to outpour your thoughts and feelings. This is true of journaling, poetry, stories….any writing. When you need a release, getting words down is immensely healing.
It enables you to explore and understand emotions
Pent up emotions often lead to further stress and complications. It’s important to go through your emotions and do all you can to understand them. Writing gives you the space to do that. You can use emotions in your work, and through your characters explore them and their outcomes. Often, writing helps you understand how you’re truly feeling, and that can be vital.
Provides a safe outlet for negative emotions
Negative emotions can cause a whole host of reactions. Lashing out, shouting, causing physical harm, internal stress…and in those situations it can be tempting to turn to unhealthy outlets. Writing is a healthy and safe way to let out your negative emotions. Channel your anger, grief, frustration and fear into your story. I name annoying characters after people who’ve upset or wronged me – it’s a private win!
You get a sense of accomplishment
Writing always feels like success. Whether you write a little, or a lot, it’s an achievement. And when your mood is low, an accomplishment can really lift your spirits. Anything that makes you feel good is worth practicing regularly.
Gives you something to look forward to
Self-care is so important, and taking time out to do something you love and enjoy is essential. When I’m having a stressful day, thinking forward to setting out some writing time really helps me relax. You can add to the self-care element of your writing time by enjoying coffee and cake at the same time for an extra treat!
How does writing impact your mental health? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.