Why Writing Is a Kind of Meditation
By Julie Petersen
Have you ever felt a huge relief after writing about the things that were burdening you? If you’ve never tried writing as a healing practice, you should definitely turn to it. In a way, writing is a meditation of its own kind.
Meditation can be challenging for many people. If you’re a beginner, you’ll find it difficult to calm down and think of nothing. Your mind will do its own business, and it will be too hard to become an observer of your own thoughts. They will drag you with them. If you’re combating issues like depression or anxiety, meditation can be a really hard thing to do. However, it’s still important. Meditation will help you heal. You just need some preparations before you can face your own thoughts directly. Writing may be an easier way to do that.
When writing, you connect the ideas and thoughts in your head. You give them structure and a logical format. You’re becoming aware of your inner world and you’re making sense of it. That’s what meditation is all about, too.
What Makes Writing Similar to Meditation?
When writing, you allow yourself to stop and think. Whatever topic you choose for your daily writing, it forces you to focus. It makes you think and pay close attention to each idea you’re about to express into words.
That’s when you can feel the magic of your inner world. You can connect with your deepest thoughts and feelings. You’ll realize that you’re not as ordinary as you thought. Everyone has an inner self that’s waiting to be awakened. When you nurture a daily writing practice, you start unveiling and understanding the things that make you you. You figure out what inspires and excites you.
There’s another thing that makes writing similar to meditation: it helps you understand yourself. Have you ever felt sad, anxious, depressed, or even happy without knowing the true reason for those emotions? That’s because they are triggered by suppressed events, thoughts and feelings. Meditation pushes you to face your subconscious and understand the roots of your current state of being. When you write, you’re doing the same thing. You’re thinking about your emotions and you’re making connections with things you thought you forgot.
In a way, writing is a form of contemplative meditation. As any other meditation, it has to be done right for you to see the full effects of it.
How to Practice Meditation through Writing
- Do It Every Day
No, I’m not saying that you should set a goal to write an entire novel and complete a chapter every day. You should not turn writing into your main daily activity, unless you’re aiming to become a published author. However, occasional writing won’t have huge meditative effects. You need to do a bit of it every single day, just like you would practice meditation or prayer on a daily basis.
The most therapeutic way to practice writing is through journaling. You can use an online diary, such as Penzu, or you can do this the old-fashioned way: just get a nice notebook and keep it private. Write about your daily experiences. If there’s a topic that triggered thoughts and emotions, write about it. It can be related to politics, celebrities… whatever. Just write what you think about it, and carry on with the practice every day.
Journaling won’t take much time. All it takes is 20 minutes at any time of the day. If you can’t get a moment for writing throughout the day, you can do it before going to sleep.
- Do It Even if You’re Not “Good” at Writing
Do you know why many people are hesitant to try writing as a meditative practice? They think they can’t write. They used to struggle or are still struggling with academic project, so they believe that journaling is not for them.
Your skill does not matter. You can learn how to write, just as you can learn how to meditate. If you’re really unconfident about your writing skills, you can check the best paper writing service reviews and find a service that can craft a personal essay for you. You can use that essay as a foundation of everything else you write. It will give you a proper format for organizing your thoughts.
Even if you don’t write in the form of a personal essay, the practice will still be effective. You won’t be publishing this. The important thing is to get connected with your inner world.
- Get Triggers
You can’t think of topics to write on every single day? The day was so boring that you feel like writing about it is a waste of time? Meditation is never a waste of time. You can easily get inspired for your daily practice. Just read a motivational quote and use it as a prompt.
“Meditation is to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong but just to watch it.” – Krishnamurti
How do those words make you feel? Do you think they capture the essence of meditation? Contemplate on that quote and write about it!
- Get into the Right Mindset
When you’re preparing for meditation, you make sure to get some peace and quiet. You sit still and you take deep breaths before you start with your practice. When you’re trying to turn writing into a meditation practice, you’ll need some preparations similar to the ones you need before meditating. You have to get your mind calm and set an intention to get in touch with your inner self.
Choose a calm space that lets you focus. If you’re not able to be alone, you can use an app on your phone and write in the bathroom. Sit. Close your eyes for a moment. Take few deep breaths. Say to yourself: “I’m going to be completely honest with myself.” Then, start writing without stopping to reflect or edit. It doesn’t even have to make sense. Just let the words and ideas surprise you. When you get relaxed, your subconscious will start revealing itself to you.
Remember: there’s no wrong way to do this. All you need to do is start writing and turn it into a daily meditation. It works!