Friday, September 16, 2016

Writing Therapy guest post by Rebecca M. Gibson

Let’s get real here, therapy is expensive. Like…really expensive. And for what? You’re paying someone to sit there and listen to your thoughts, to channel them so they aren’t festering inside you. I can tell you right now a piece of paper is a hell of a lot cheaper and does the same thing.
Personally, I feel uptight if I’ve not written in a while. It’s as if my words are building up and need to be alleviated. I suppose like a wordy blue balls. I kill people in my books so I don’t have to do it in real life…wait, did I say that out loud?
I have a psychology degree (fun fact!) and for my third year dissertation I undertook an IPA analysis (how exciting does that sound…not!) of the reasons people write creatively. During my interviews therapy was sited consistently. Why else do you think it’s such a popular pastime?
Here’s 3 ways you too can try this much cheaper form of therapeutic relief…
1. Keep a journal.
It’s not just lonely teenage girls that keep diaries, even Queen Victoria had one – it’s why we know so much about her life. So, aside from the fact you’ll be helping historians of the future, keeping a journal organises your thoughts at the end of the day. If your mind is less cluttered, you sleep better. If you sleep better, your life is better. Fact. It’s also an excuse to buy pretty stationary. If that’s not therapy, I don’t know what is.
2. Write down positive happenings.
If you don’t have the time, or the patience, to keep a journal of your every move, just write down one or two positive things that happen during your day. These can literally be that you ate a pie or you saw a puppy. Seriously. It’ll train your mind into noticing the positive things in your day, leading to a more positive outlook on life. Sometimes, if you’re anything like me, this’ll be really hard but it’ll get easier the longer you stick with it.
3. Fiction!!
This is my means of writing therapy. I’m a tad neurotic and a chronic worrier (form a queue gents!), therefore, I make up characters and drag them through shit so I feel better. Yikes, sorry characters. If you write a fight scene when you’re angry, or a sad scene when you’re upset, it’ll get those negative feelings out and turn them into something positive. Just like punching a punch bag when you’re angry (which is how I got through secondary school, no joke!) writing helps alleviate bad thoughts in a safe, fictional way. As a bonus, you might end up with a pretty awesome story at the end of it too!

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