September 25, 2016

A Creative Ritual for more Everyday Happiness.

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Writing changes lives.

I’m not talking about the money that can be earned by penning a bestseller, but how the simple act of writing every day has the power to motivate and inspire. How writing every day can help with understanding emotions, can help sort out confusion, and can assist in having a clearer vision.

It’s an unavoidable fact that there is a strong correlation between the most creative people in our society being some of the unhappiest. Perhaps there is something about the burden of creativity that leads to periods of unhappiness—but over time, I have found that using my creative spark as a daily outlet can be a great way to improve my mood and keep me consistently happy and upbeat on a day to day basis.

No matter what is going on in my personal or professional life, I have found that making creative writing a daily ritual has helped to bring me peace and calm, leading to a much better and more positive outlook on life in general. I believe everyone can benefit from incorporating more writing in to their everyday routine, and here are a handful of ideas for exactly how to do that.

1. Write stories about your future self.

Renowned psychologist Laura King conducted a study in which she requested participants to write about themselves. She wanted them to express their goals and ambitions for the future, what they want their lives to be like 10 or 15 years down the road, but always with the positive spin, writing about their “best possible self” in the imagined future.

I find that the act of placing myself in a future where everything has worked out in the exact way that I have dreamt can be satisfying for my imagination. I can make these short stories as realistic or a fanciful as I wish. The real benefit of the exercise comes in the way that I am allowing my mind to see in to the future, into a time when I am not feeling as sad as perhaps I am now.

2. Write about something good.

Rather than sitting down and writing about myself in particular, another thing I do is open up my mind and focus on writing any kind of story or poem that is, in its very nature, good. When I am writing on a daily basis to try to increase my level of contentment and happiness, then there is nothing better than using my imagination and creativity to bring scenarios to life that are inherently good and filled with a positive tone and atmosphere.

The self-discovery of knowing that I have all of this good energy inside of me to release onto the page gives me a form of therapeutic calm and relaxation.

3. Write a letter.

Another particularly therapeutic exercise I undertake is to sit down and write a letter to someone to whom I have something meaningful to say. It could be a family member, it could be a friend, it could even be a celebrity. The therapy and fulfillment comes in putting the words on the page more than anything else.

Perhaps I never got the chance to thank somebody properly, perhaps I haven’t had the chance to apologise properly, or perhaps I just want to express some repressed feelings. No matter what my motivations are, I never have to actually post the letter. It’s the release of creativity and feeling in the letter that is the productive part of the exercise.

4. Do your favourite form of writing.

The beauty of creative writing is that there are absolutely no limitations when it comes to what you can and cannot write. There is a certain amount of fun to be had in experimenting with different forms and styles of creative writing. Dave Gorman, an expert at Edugeeksclub, says: “Once you have found something that you really enjoy doing, make that a regular part of your daily writing routine.” Some people like to write short narrative stories, some people like the strict regulation of things like limericks and haikus, and some people like to test their imagination and creativity with more experimental forms of poetry.

No matter what it is, the joy to me is in finding a form of writing that brings satisfaction and happiness, and incorporating that in to my everyday life to keep that spark of positivity present, no matter what else is going on.

Though many people think about creative writing as something stressful and monotonous from their school days, the trick is in rediscovering your literary imagination and finding the form that brings you happiness. Commit to writing every day, and I guarantee you will start to feel a pride and satisfaction in your work. This, in turn, makes you happier.


Author: Joan Selby

Image: via elephant journal on nstagram

Editor: Catherine Monkman



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