Reflective writing involves selecting a general theme, such as gratitude, and freely writing about that subject for as long as you wish. When you let go of your restraints and self-criticism about your writing style, your subconscious will be able to come out.
"Try not to think consciously about what you're writing," says Nancy Morales, MFA, ATR, a counseling intern at Cancer Wellness. "Start writing and let one idea flow to the next without worrying about the finished product. You are not writing a story or trying to describe something specifically."
Reflective writing is powerful because it taps into the subconscious, which is something our minds maintain on a daily basis, but we rarely access.
"There are many memories stored in our subconscious that can give us messages and insight into who we are, how we feel and how we move throughout the world," she explains.
How to practice reflective writing
Cancer Wellness offers reflective writing classes led by trained therapists.
"Our job as therapists is to hold space for you as you work through something," says Morales. "During reflective writing, some people come across a memory or emotion that is extremely upsetting to them. We are there to help them through that."
Because of this, Morales recommends sticking to positive topics when practicing reflective writing at home. Here are a few to get you started:
What does it mean to be grateful?
What gives me hope?
What would I like to see in my life?
What do I want to release that I am holding onto right now?
What would I like to renew in my life and how would I like to renew it?
What are some memories or events in my past that I felt really good about?
When was a time in my life where I felt really powerful and strong?
Whether you prefer to jot your ideas in a journal or type them on a computer, reflective writing can help you find inspiration, clarity, vision and strength. See more creative ways to reduce stress and improve your life.