The Power of the Written Word

The Power of the Written Word

“One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”
-Malala Yousafzai

I do it. Every contributer to this site does it. And everyone reading this post probably does it too. It’s one of the most theraputic and cathartic activities ever. And yet, it still remains grossly underrated.

I’m talking about writing.

Since the time alphabets were invented (regardless of what language), writing has been utilized to capture history, make new history and pour out one’s heart whether it’s to validate something or rebel against it.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors and even scientists from around the world almost unanimously agree that writing is benficial in many ways and has infinite possibilities of healing.

And yet, it’s never “prescribed” like medication. While some may suggest it rather casually, the go-to antidote to almost everyone seeking help from mental health issues is always opioid. I won’t go into a long spiel of the current opioid crisis in this particular post because that warrants it’s own space.

I will however point out these facts in terms of writing vs. popping a pill to feel better psychologically:

  • Writing does not have any chemical side effects. What you write may not be liked by everyone (should it be with the intention of sharing) but your mind won’t be numb and most likely, it’ll be the opposite and become stronger.
  • It doesn’t cost anything. Even if you’re fairly well to do or have a good insurance policy, medication still empties your pockets, sometimes slowly, sometimes all at once.
  • It improves your memory. Mental health medication is usually made with the intention of making you forget your troubles and in the process of doing so can numb the mind to the point that you may forget the good times along with the bad as well. Writing about your experiences, good or bad, obviously necessitates recall value and the more you do it, the more precise you’ll become at remembering things.

I could go on and on about the benefits of writing and perhaps will go into a more detailed analysis about it from a scientific point of view in a future post. For now however, I would urge my readers to embrace writing as therapy.

Perhaps many of you already do which is great. But if you don’t or you simply write with a dose of casualness, I would recommend doing it in a more serious manner.

Do you write to create something new or to pour your heart out? Or perhaps both like I do? Share your thoughts and experiences about writing by commenting below.

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