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Writing As Therapy

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
06/10/22  10:29 AM PST

Empower Your Healing With The Written Word

Creative writing as a form of expression uses the act of writing and reading the written word as therapy. Writing your feelings or reflections has been scientifically documented to gradually ease feelings of trauma.

I learned early on in my recovery that there were therapeutic benefits to logging my day in a journal. At days end, I would peck with a single finger at the keys on the computer keyboard, chronically my days experience. Sometimes I listed accomplishments, or new abilities in rehab. Other times it was a mere recount of my rehab schedule like ticking boxes of completion. I would reflect with emotion and spill anger, sadness, or joy onto the page. In the privacy of my mind and computer, I was able to release the jumbled mess inside my head to create a space for my thoughts. It was as if I was taking a long exhale after holding my breath, leaving my worries on a page to begin the next day clear.

Because I am horrible at grammar, I often never read what I wrote, at least not for awhile. Now looking back through my journal at the days, months, and years of my life, I appreciate what I had gone through. I can analyze in hindsight my progress, or regression through time, to see patterns of behavior, both good and bad, that I otherwise cannot not see in the present moment.

Writing has really helped me with my perspective and keeping everything in a realistic context. I have found freedom from tormented thoughts and liberation from the cycles of sadness that looped in my mind. I can tell you confidently that writing in a personal journal, a public blog, or an activity chart is a cathartic and meditative exercise that can really benefit your mental health on your path of healing.

Think of a day as a blank piece of paper – How are you going to fill it? Would you want to read the next page of your journal? If you go about your day this way then you can assist your peace of mind, reduce cluttered thoughts and regulate emotions better, and yes, think clearer!

Aside from aiding your psychological recovery from a spinal cord injury, the act of writing can help you to “show up” for the people, the work and the activities you enjoy most.

If you are not sure how or where to start, try filling out a simple daily log:


A Daily Log

  • Date:
  • Wakeup Time:
  • Breakfast:
    • Snacks:
  • Work:
  • Exercise(s)
    • Type:
    • Reps:
    • Sets:
    • Time:
  • Lunch:
    • Snacks:
  • Activities:
  • Dinner:
  • Reflection/Notes:
  • Bed Time:

When you take the time (5 minutes or so) to consistently fill out a daily log sheet, you are creating a healthy habit over time. And when writing becomes a habit, your mind will open and a desire to release your thoughts ensues… At least that is what I discovered.

The act of writing was, and still is very therapeutic. I hope you too will write your way to better health and happiness.



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