You read that right. Writing is the next exercise of the 21st century. Of course, writing every day isn’t going to get you a six-pack or shed inches from your waistline—but it can help you stay on track and motived to achieve your physical goals by strengthening your mind-body connection.
This article isn’t about writing as a physical exercise—it’s about writing as an exercise for your mind. Many studies have shown the impact of writing and how it increases your likelihood of achieving goals and completing important tasks. This is partly due to adherence to a routine, which leads to better focus and greater motivation, but writing, itself, has a unique effect on the way we think.
Mindfulness has become increasingly more popular in the world of mental health. Exercises that fall into the category of mindfulness include everything from yoga, to meditation, to breath work, each of which promotes an appreciation of the present moment. In general, mindfulness exercises encourage the practitioner to pause and focus on the natural movements and flows of the human body. While meditation requires that you rid your mind of thoughts and simply exist in the present moment, breath work takes another approach, and so does yoga. The key with mindfulness is to cast out fleeting or stressful thoughts and learn to filter them as they come in.
Writers are able to do the same thing through their writing process. If you’ve ever experimented with journaling or fiction writing, you might have experienced it before—the feeling when your words are flowing perfectly without much forethought or planning. If you’re journaling, we like to call this “stream of consciousness” writing. It occurs when your thoughts transition seamlessly from mind to paper, and it’s a great way to take mental inventory of your thoughts and emotions.
Writing takes your mindfulness practice to the next level, which is why we think it’s an important addition to your daily routine. Compared to other practices, writing gives you something concrete, words which you can return to and refer to later on. At the same time, it brings you into that same flow state that makes mindfulness so effective.
The better you’re able to check in with yourself and take a moment to live in the present, whether that’s through writing or yoga, the more likely you are to succeed and achieve your goals in life. With writing, you can channel that energy into any topic you like, be it goal-setting or cathartic release.
If you’re interested in making writing a more permanent part of your daily routine, join Opyrus for free. You’ll get access to tons of writing prompts and creative inspiration to help you take on the journey to greater life through mindfulness.