Daily practice has the power to change your brain at a fundamental level.
When I was young, my piano teacher used to tell me, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.” Her message was that if I practiced something incorrectly, it would be engraved in my mind and muscle memory incorrectly. If I took the time to make adjustments, I could learn to practice with purpose. By consistently rewiring my brain to be more mindful of my practice, I could improve. The same goes for writing.
Writing has the power to transform lives because it can change the way we think. The writing process is inherently mindful, requiring us to put our thoughts and feelings down on paper as soon as they become conscious. It forces us to take inventory on how we’re feeling and why we’re behaving in certain ways where we might normally ignore those thought processes
There is also plenty of research to support that writers process feelings and emotions faster than non-writers, they are better communicators, and they are even more disciplined than they were before writing. This all occurs when writing becomes a consistent practice in one’s life.
One study shows that mindfulness alone can affect our brain function and chemistry. That’s exactly why we believe writing can truly change the world. Many people struggle with unguided forms of meditation, finding it difficult to truly omit all passing thoughts and emotions. Writing provides a loose guide that makes the process of mindfulness a bit easier. Using writing prompts and following coursework still encourages the same healing thought processes, but makes the work a little bit easier to comprehend.
Here are a few specific ways in which writing will change your brain functionality at a core level:
1. Better Focus and Discipline
Like any mindfulness practice, repetition and dedication promote discipline. Put yourself on a daily writing schedule and see how it changes your commitment to important tasks. Many people find that the process gets a little bit easier each day (with a few exceptions), and that the creative mindset becomes almost immediate.
Writing requires a lot of focus. Sitting down to write requires that correct mindset, which can be hard to turn on and off instantly. Mindful writing practice will help to increase focus in all areas of life, strengthening that on/off switch to make daily tasks more achievable.
2. More Mental Clarity
Journaling also forces writers to better organize their thoughts. By writing about emotions and feelings, our brains are able to focus on more important matters. We can accomplish goals more easily because we aren’t clouded by distracting thoughts and we find it easier to understand why we are feeling certain things. We ruminate less and our minds can find a sense of calm and clarity.
3. Less Stress and Anxiety
Mindfulness practices aim to relax and reset the mind. Being consistent with mindfulness can also result in feeling more present in day-to-day life, allowing us to enjoy each passing moment free of stress and anxiety. Writers are often less stressed and more focused on the good parts of life. They use writing as both a grounding practice and an outlet into which they can release feelings of stress or anger.
The mind of a writer is different in many ways from the mind of a non-writer. Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga continue to grow in popularity, so why not add writing to the mix? Writing to improve your mental health and processes leaves a lasting legacy that’s useful in all areas of life.
At Opyrus, we aim to harness that power and teach people how to write with purpose. We offer inspiring prompts and content to encourage your writing process and help you yield the best rewards from your practice. Sign up for free and transform your life with writing.