Writing for Wellbeing

Any writing, including free writing, writing stories, poems, journaling, even letters, can improve our mood and wellbeing. You don’t need any special materials other than a notebook/paper and pen/pencil and you don’t need to write with good grammar or punctuation or be an accomplished writer to benefit, just a willingness to get your own words down on the page.

I am thrilled to be able to offer a series of five Writing for Wellbeing workshops (see my Writing for Wellbeing page for more information). Using a variety of writing prompts such as poems, objects, photos and visualisations, my aim is to help participants express themselves through writing.

By writing down our thoughts, feelings and ideas, things can become clearer, more understandable and gives a sense of perspective and control. Writing helps with personal development and this kind of writing has the potential for therapeutic benefit.

Writing can stir up many thoughts, feelings and strong emotions and so it is important to write what is within safe limits and to practice self-care. Sharing writing with other participants in the group is not obligatory.

These workshops are designed to use the medium of writing for self-discovery, affirming the ability to know what is needed to enhance personal wellbeing.

Benefits: 

  • Experience a sense of release as words are written down on the page.
  • Helps people get in touch with themselves.
  • Helps gain a sense of control over unsettling emotions.
  • Increases self awareness and feelings of compassion for the self and for others.
  • Helps bring things into perspective and helps to see things from other perspectives.
  • Helps with feeling restored emotionally as people focus on what they already have and what they may need to improve their wellbeing.

This series of workshops is designed around 5 different ways to wellbeing which research has shown can improve our sense of feeling good about ourselves and our lives. Whilst including happiness, wellbeing has a much broader concept than moment to moment pleasures and includes how satisfied and fulfilled we feel, our sense of purpose, how in control we feel and how we evaluate our lives as a whole. Wellbeing is a process of discovery and is different for different people.

Rhythms of Bliss

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In recent weeks whilst in the midst of the shut down for Coronavirus, I have been spending my time absorbed in daily rhythms of bliss – practicing mediation and yoga, reading, writing, painting, communing with nature and communing with my inner self. It has been a time for reflection and an opportunity for growth and for making positive changes for how I live my life.

A wind of anxiety, a hurricane of panic is threatening to envelop the UK and the world. Now, more than ever it is important to be still, to be calm and to find inner peace. We are being encouraged to exercise daily to keep ourselves healthy in order to support our NHS. Exercise is fundamental to good health, but there is more we can do. To help ensure the immune system of our body is working as it needs to in order to keep us free of infection, we can build into our daily lives practices that still our minds and boost our immune system. Practicing yoga and mediation with integrated breathing practices strengthens the respiratory system making it more efficient and the whole approach helps to keep us calm, centered and stress free.

My hope and my wish is that everyone considers their own daily rhythms of bliss and keeps safe. Namaste.

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During these weeks, I have also been observing my patterns of behaviour and watching myself closely for any slippage … any backward step into the fear and anxiety I had been suffering since when the result of a routine scan in October last year threatened to turn my life upside down.

In the personal challenge I faced, I wrote about how I used my daily yoga practice to centre myself and transition to a state of mind where I could begin to manage the debilitating emotion of fear. I slowly realised that fear is an absence of love and with this realisation, I focussed on moving mediations to instil a practice of deep listening where I could connect with my inner self, the real me, the ‘I am’. As I looked at my greatest fears and lived through the worry, anxiety and trauma of what I was facing, I discovered unbounded blessings, compassion and gratitude for my experiences. I encountered loss and profound change, but by embracing the ensuing grief, I discovered a new way of being.

Emerging from this hugely testing period in my life, I realised it presented the opportunity for a new beginning and a new way of being in the world. I no longer needed to live with fear. As I began to focus my attention on healing, both physically and emotionally, I discovered I no longer felt any need to control my circumstances, I could let things be and trust the journey.

I have unearthed truths about myself, about my boundaries, my foibles, my behaviours, and my relationships. I have learnt valuable lessons and I am committed to ensuring I honour where I am, live in the present moment and keep focussed on what really matters, by practising self love, compassion and being open to all experience.

I live in hope. I live in trust. I live in love. I live in bliss.

 

“Bliss is not a feeling but a state of being. In the state of bliss, everything is loved. Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real”

Deepak Chopra

 

In my writing life I am taking this opportunity of being in lockdown to write flash fiction and short stories and to enter them into competitions. I am doing this with two friends from my writing group. We choose a competition we all want to enter, write our stories and peer review our work. We enter our pieces and then we keep our fingers crossed! Writing is fun, writing in stimulating and thought provoking. Most importantly, writing keeps me connected.

 

LIHazleton.
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