Recently I read an article that said people shouldn’t say their goals out loud. It can convince the brain that it’s already happened. A dramatic percentage followed, but of course now that I’m writing this, I can’t find the article. Lost in the sea of Facebook feeds, alas. Not long ago I also read an article about keeping journals. People who do tend to work through their problems faster than those who don't.
These two articles made me stop and think. The first article about speaking your goals stated that it triggered a feeling of fulfilment, as though actually accomplishing the goal. In the second article, people were able to heal themselves through writing. What I interpret from this is that the brain can’t tell the difference between real and imaginary.
Despite the fact that you know when you’re talking about imaginary things, your brain still thinks it’s real.
I’m not a scientist, I don’t know how the human brain works. But, as an owner-operator, I can tell you that I’ve seen both of these articles in action. Especially writing feelings down. Feelings people can’t otherwise express for whatever reason, they can still express on paper. (Or on Word, whatever moves you.) Unspoken conversations, or confrontations, are easily had on paper, and when you’re through, you feel like you had the conversation. For a lot of people, journals and writing have kept them going through impossible situations. Artists do this too, through their pictures, but some people aren’t blessed with a talent to draw or sculpt or paint.
While writing can be more accessible to everyone, there are a few for whom writing is much, much more. They share their experience of the world through layers of character, plot and setting. They weave a tale that is exhilarating and terrifying and unreal.
And I can tell you, in my case at least, that those unreal worlds are just as cathartic as any journal entry I’ve penned.
Writing probably won’t solve all the world’s problems. That said, expressing hidden feelings and emotions – the ones you can’t trust to just anyone – is important to mental health and well-being. It doesn’t hurt to don a sword and hunt down the monsters under your bed. It’s a healthy pastime. Writing out your feelings gives you a chance to examine them, and that’s how you resolve them, after all.