Many health care professionals, from medical doctors to psychotherapists, recommend writing as a way for patients to heal ailments of both mind and body. So, when I learned that See Jane Write Collective member Dr. Millie Jackson led “Writing for Wellness” workshops I was eager for her to host one for the Janes.
Why does writing help with wellness?
Millie kicked off the virtual workshop by discussing the many reasons why writing can help us with our overall wellness.
Writing is cathartic and can help us process unfinished business. Writing can help us make sense of life events as we address our personal stories through metaphor and narrative structures. Writing helps us better connect the mind and body. And, of course, writing can help us express things we’ve left unspoken.
Millie went on to explain that writing can even make us more resilient by helping us adapt to life’s changes. Writing can help us find meaning and purpose. Through writing, we can become more optimistic and hopeful and even joyful. Writing can help us maintain equanimity. Writing can even help us flourish.
“By changing our language, we change our lives,” Millie reminded us.
So how do we get all of these wellness benefits of writing? Well, we have to write!
Writing for wellness isn’t about keeping a simple diary of what you do each day. It’s about doing the type of writing that calls for deep introspection.
During the workshop, we spent time writing to a number of different prompts. Then in virtual breakout rooms (Don’t you just love Zoom?!) we discussed the thoughts and feelings that came up as we did the writing.
Prompts for Writing for Wellness
After the workshop I was eager to do more writing for wellness. So, I slipped down the Google rabbit hole looking for more prompts. I found plenty here, here, and here.
To get you started, here are 21 prompts I’ve found to be most helpful:
- Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.
- What do you fear most? Why? Is your fear rational? Why or why not?
- What has your anxiety taught you about yourself?
- Write about one of your happiest memories or make a list of things that you smile.
- Describe your perfect day.
- Write about a time you felt isolated.
- Make a list of 10 things you want to remember during difficult times.
- The words I’d like to live by…
- What does unconditional love look like for you?
- If my body could talk it would say…
- How have you changed in the past five years?
- When do you feel happiest in your skin?
- Write about your top 3 goals.
- Make a list of 99 things you love.
- Write about a song you love or the best concert you’ve been to.
- Write the story of your name.
- Write about where you grew up and how it shaped you.
- What do you wish others knew about you?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- Write about a moment of clarity.
- Write the words you need to hear right now.
See Jane Write Collective member Millie Jackson will be leading a free virtual workshop on the Six A’s of Mindful Writing on Tuesday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Learn more and register here.
If you would like to become a member of the See Jane Write Collective, you can apply to join here. Enrollment will be reopening soon! In the meantime, join our free Facebook community, the See Jane Write Network.