Whether it’s to a loved one, a friend or yourself, writing letters has proven to provide countless benefits to your mental wellbeing.
In various counselling disciplines, letter writing can be a crucial element of the recovery process, helping patients express their thoughts on paper privately.
“We know that being able to express how we feel and what we think impacts us on a cellular level. This is why writing has psychological, mental and physical health benefits” Lauren Garvey MS, CRC, NCC a counsellor and facilitator at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the benefits that letter writing can have on our mental wellbeing.
Unlock Your Feelings
Whether you send the letter or not, you are removing an invisible padlock on your emotions by writing them down on paper, in your own words. This exercise instantly offers a source of comfort and relief.
Letter writing also provides many with clarity on a particular situation. Dr. Lunide Louis, a habit psychologist, commented that “letter-writing can be a purifying exercise to help you get clarity about how you feel about a situation or someone, release negative feelings or thoughts and meaningfully prepare for a conversation with a loved one.”
Show Someone You Care
There is something so wonderful about the written word being used to express how much someone means to you. It’s authentic, real and thoughtful. We have explored the art of love letters in many of our Monoset journal entries.
Leave a Legacy
Remember the movie “PS I Love You” where Holly’s terminally ill husband wrote a series of letters to guide her through the first year after his passing? Many patients who face such a diagnosis use letter writing to tell loved ones how they feel or to share memories with their other half to look back on.
They also use letters ahead of particular monumental moments that they may not be around for in the future, such as graduations, weddings and christenings. While these letters might seem quite sad, this is a really therapeutic activity for the patient and a tangible way to leave a legacy for those most cherished.
Forming Connections with Others
WGSN, a global authority on consumer and design trends, reported that Gen Z are now taking up letter writing “Tik Tok’s hashtag #penpal has more than 192 million views. Furthermore, penpal communities such as #penpalooza have emerged to connect those longing for snail-mail all over the globe”.
Danielle Broder wrote in Forbes that “Having a pen pal and writing more can help with anxiety, loneliness and even relieve stress.”