Too often we let the days fly by without taking time to pause, reflect, and honor the journey we're on. Writing is one way we can slow down a bit. Putting our life stories into words actually brings us wonderful emotional, spiritual and health benefits.
Here are nine ways putting pen to paper and writing your life story will change you:
1. Sharing personal information creates connections.
When you take the time to write about your life you permit others to know you. The knowledge of who you really are strengthens relationships and builds bonds. Colleagues, neighbors, friends, and even family tend to think of you only in the role you play in relation to them. When they learn that you're a multidimensional person, with many facets they didn't expect, a deeper relationship ensues.
2. Your family will thank you.
Children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, all deserve to know how you became the person they know today. The older they get, the more they'll be curious about who you once were and what situations shaped you.
They'll benefit when you reveal the obstacles you overcame and the strategies you used to conquer those hurdles. Pass your wisdom on; you might be just the role model they've been searching for.
3. You may be able to fire your shrink.
The process of organizing your life experiences actually creates healing. When you examine, then write about old situations, especially situations that have bothered you over the years, you reduce your daily stress levels, improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, and enjoy a healthier emotional life.
4. You'll think better.
Once your mind is cleared of those negative thoughts from years ago, your cognitive abilities will improve and you'll notice that your thinking is sharper. You'll no longer ruminate about past injustices or past problems. Obsessions will fade away, and you'll have room for new, interesting information to fill your mind. Writing about your life stimulates your intellect.
5. You'll feel better.
Writing about strong feelings and safely disclosing secrets improves your health, according to medical researchers. Your immune system actually grows stronger when you investigate the past and then write about those true events that you discover in your memory.
6. You'll make peace with your past.
Writing permits you to separate yourself from your problems by looking at them from a distance. Useful solutions for today's situations become apparent and the past becomes less important. Reflecting and writing trigger that change of perspective.
7. You'll never be bored.
The writing project you embark upon will always provide you with something to do. Writing will become part of your routine. Also, you may be motivated to talk to friends and family from the past or to look through photo albums from years ago.
8. You'll leave a legacy.
When you finish writing your life story, you'll have a permanent memoir in book form that you can distribute to loved ones, publish and sell online and in bookstores, or simply keep for yourself as a reminder of what you've accomplished in your life.
9. You'll have fun!
Roberta Temes, Ph.D., is the author of How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating and Publishing Your Personal Story