We all know that our well-being plan should include eating right, sleeping well, drinking plenty of water, and making time for your nearest and dearest. But word has it that when it comes to increasing our happiness and well being, there’s a new kid in town.
According to psychological research, writing regularly can provide a sense of control and optimism, help individuals organize and structure their thoughts and feelings, and provide positive emotional, biological, and social effects. It seems, then, that writing might just be one of the simplest and cheapest ways to significantly boost your happiness, self-esteem and productivity — all of which you’ll need to bring you closer to the career and personal life you’ve been dreaming of as a busy entrepreneur or professional.
Here’s how daily writing achieves all of that goodness:
- Making sense of things. Modern life throws plenty of challenges at us. We’re now connected 24/7. We have more relationships to juggle than we know how to deal with. Writing every day can help make sense of this confusion, unleash your subconscious to help you make wiser decisions, and give you a structured, systematic way to approach to problem solving. Make sure you have no outside distractions and no input or influencing opinions from those around you.
- Acknowledging your achievements. When we spend all day looking at our to-do list, we severely neglect and overlook our “done it and rocked it” list. This is where gratitude journaling can be a great force of nature. It becomes a reminder of the beauty and amazing things in your life. Oprah suggests writing five things every day that you’re grateful for. You might just find that you feel a boost just by using the written word to appreciate what you have.
- Clearing your mind for better communication. Writing first thing in the morning, much like a good run or a yoga session, can help free your mind of it’s initial thoughts and worries by “brain-dumping” all that nonsense on to paper. This morning brain-dump will leave you with clear and sharp mind. You might also experience the added benefit in the form a boost in both productivity and creativity as a result.
Practical Tips for Writing Daily
- Turn writing into a habit. Get into a routine. First thing in the morning is ideal for writing, but just before bed or during your 4 p.m. slump can be good times too. Grab a cup of coffee, head out of the office, and sit down to write somewhere more inspiring.
- Find a system that works for you. You might use apps on your iPad to keeps track of your progress (750 Words a Day or Day One are both popular choices). Or you might chose to write in a beautifully designed notebook. Whatever encourages you to write more, just make sure it’s distraction-free. Comedy writer Demetri Martin uses a typewriter to write, since there’s no email or Internet to fight for his attention.
- If nothing else, write an email to a few friends each morning. Having one or two friends to check in with each day and discuss challenges and achievements can go a long way in heightening your mood and efficiency throughout the entire day.
Laura Pepper Wu writes books, publishes books, and promotes books! All of her eBooks have been Amazon.com best sellers in their categories, and she works with other self-published authors to successfully promote their books, too. Together with her husband she co-founded 30 Day Books: a book studio which has won several awards, and Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site for writers. Twitter @LauraPepWu.