Can writing get you out of burnout?

Can writing get you out of burnout?
In today’s fast-paced and highly digitised world, deteriorating mental health is not uncommon. Regarding the workplace, recent statistics show that 89% of workers worldwide experienced burnout in the past year. Therefore, it’s about time we start taking care of ourselves and look not only for solutions but shift our focus to prevention.

 The article “This is how writing can improve your mental health” discusses how writing can positively impact mental well-being. While researchers don't entirely agree on why writing helps, one theory suggests that it provides a safe and confidential outlet for expressing bottled-up emotions, potentially reducing psychological distress.

 At the core of writing’s healing benefits is increased self-awareness, rather than just emotional disclosure, which is the key to these mental health improvements. Self-awareness involves turning attention inward to understand one's traits, behaviour, feelings, beliefs, values, and motivations. This can lead to increased confidence, acceptance of others, job satisfaction, effective leadership, self-control, and better decision-making aligned with long-term goals.

The article highlights three types of writing that can enhance self-awareness and mental health:

1. Expressive Writing: This involves writing about thoughts and feelings related to a stressful life event. It aims to help emotionally process difficult experiences and has been shown to decrease depressive symptoms, anxious thoughts, and perceived stress.

2. Reflective Writing: Often used in professional settings, this type of writing helps individuals in fields like healthcare and education assess their beliefs and actions for learning and development. It fosters self-awareness by facilitating learning from experiences, leading to improved personal and professional relationships as well as work performance.

3. Creative Writing: This encompasses various forms like poems, short stories, and novels. Creative writing involves imagination and the use of literary devices to convey meaning. It provides a unique way to explore thoughts, feelings, ideas, and beliefs. Writing creatively about challenging experiences can also help communicate complex emotions to others.

In this link, you can find prompts for reflection and creative expression.

Spending just 15 minutes on these activities can lead to shifting your attention inward and self-regulating. So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab the good old pen and paper and allow yourself to focus on your health, one day at a time.

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