Writing is a much undervalued tool for accessing calmer, wiser inner states of mind. When we write, we activate thought streams from both left and right hemispheres of our brain and connect them to our hand. This allows a greater flow of insight and creativity. Problems can seem like monster hurdles, but when they are written out on the page in full, they can trigger perceptual shifts. Seen from this new perspective, they are suddenly unthreatening, bearable or even self-created.
Writing has great health benefits as James Pennebaker’s experiments have proven. There is a direct link between writing about traumas and a healthy rebalancing of the immune system, which aids healing. This won’t happen however, if we just write a few quick notes on a scrap of paper. Having a serious approach, and mustering the courage to tackle our ‘troubling life experiences’ is what will make it work. These personal life events that may contain abuse, rage, violence, depression, doubt, confusion, and low self esteem – are the ‘knots’ of our lives that need unravelling. They are often events we could not understand at the time they happened, but which nevertheless form the basis of our habitual character. They are major stressors that have an impact on our health.
Promoting the body’s natural mechanisms of defence is something that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money paid to a psychotherapist or doctor. It is something we can do for ourselves. It can even take us much further than this, as once a first trauma is cleared, another deeper issue may arise. This is the signal from our higher selves that we are being challenged to grow.
If you write a journal regularly, or keep a daily diary of your thoughts, you will already have experienced the positive health benefits : fewer visits to the doctor, more ‘inner space’, deeper insight into yourself and others, an appreciation of cycles and overall life patterns, ability to make more informed and sustainable choices. Journaling develops an intimacy with the self that far from making us isolated, helps us to understand more easily what others are going through as well. It can even encourage life-long self development.
What is fascinating to me is that writing is a natural trance. Everyone is born knowing how to do, yet many fail to realise its health potential. Some may believe that only a hypnotherapist can create a trance deep enough for healing to occur, but all of us are doing it all the time whenever we go inside ourselves. When writers write stories they are in a creative trance. When readers read these stories, they are also in co-creative trance, engaging with what the writer has produced.
Trance states, where our attention is directed inwards, are both calming and energising. It is through understanding this and acting on it that allows us to realise our physiology and helps us work towards greater psycho-energetic healing.
Writing in a trance state may therefore be the most potent yet accessible way of doing self hypnosis healing that we have available. Done properly, it is a very valuable healing tool that is open to anyone with pen, paper and the ‘write’ approach.
Kieron is a hypnotherapist working in Central London. He runs Writing As Healing workshops at The Feelgood Centre, 33-34,Chiswell Street, EC1.