Wellness and writing are connected in ways psychologists and other experts are just starting to understand.  But I’ve known this for a while.

I’m not saying this to brag, but because I’ve seen it over and over in the writing workshops I’ve taught, in the one on one coaching I’ve done and in my own life.

 

One of the biggest aha moments for me has been that writing and reflecting on my stories has helped me increase my resilience, and that has lead to some wonderful changes in my life (and less anxiety).

 

I grew up in a house with lots of love, but also lots of fear. The fear was based on past traumas in my parents’ lives, but the stories were not shared.

 

But by writing stories of times when I struggled, was afraid or suffered trauma and then recognizing that I’m still here, still ok and in fact got through those hard times, I can reflect on my own strengths, and see myself in a different light. I can see myself as brave, creative, persistent or determined, for example. And the next time I face something similar, I can tap into that knowledge to help me get through.

 

Literally, by telling myself the story of how I did handle something hard – I create a road map to help me navigate the next hurdle.

 

Resilience is the capacity to move forward positively, even in the face of difficult events. Resilience is not a trait, it is something we develop. It’s a quality that allows us to thrive despite difficulties.

 

Recognizing our strengths can help us develop that resilience.

 

What strengths do you have that help you through hard times?

 

Reflect on a time you struggled, what did you do to get through? Name the strengths, reflect on how they helped you. What would it mean to embody those strengths in your daily life?

 

Write the story.

 

Use detail so you create a strong memory you can pull up when you have to do something hard. Where were you, who were you with, what did you hear, see, smell, taste, feel? What were your thoughts then? And now? 

I’d love to read your story. Please share it with me in the comments.

Interested in learning more about the power of your stories to create a life of resilience, connection, and meaning? Check out my upcoming Write Into Joy workshops to learn how to build resilience and joy through journaling & reflecting.