Writing causes stress, but it doesn't have to
Regardless of the social writing task, you feel some degree of stress and pressure. Your personal thoughts and opinions are written down for others to see and judge.
Focusing too much on the judgement of others will cause you to freeze: writer's block. All of these have to do with your state of mind: judgement, opinion, freezing, blocking.
In my senior high school year, I totally froze on a 3+ page essay exam in a Shakespeare class I chose to be in, an elective. I loved the class and learned much, but I have no happy ending for the exam.
I didn't immediately understand the essay question and panic gripped me, pulse and blood pressure shooting up, my face bright red and sweaty. The negative feelings build on themselves, feeding each other.
I turned in that paper on Hamlet, and there was literal blood and sweat in painful points on the page, highlighting my pain.
This shouldn't have happened to me.
Nobody likes to feel debilitating stress, especially because of the harsh biological consequences of life long anxiety. Breznitz and Hemingway explain the mental and biological connection of stress:
"in many ways it is perceptual, stress is a biological response to change - to the unknown - and it has very direct and powerful biological consequences. These biological changes are as real as any of the many modern diseases that stress contributes to - including cancer and heart disease."
Knowledge of the biological and mental processes in writing empowers you
Our bodies react to change biologically, and a new writing task can increase your blood pressure and heart rate.
Usually we feel a loss of control with stress, but if you are conscious of the stress, you can alter your thinking, reducing both mental and physical symptoms of stress.
You can control your state of mind while writing, and with practice, writing can be a relaxing and therapeutic exercise.
The relevance of these tools
I have created this post so that you can download both the PowerPoint and the PDF or PNG checklist. Please let me know if you have any trouble with the downloads, and I hope that you find them useful in creating a writing process that blesses you rather than destroys you. Let me know.
Download a This Free PDF or PNG checklist now! Simply click "Download File"
What other techniques are useful in mindful, stress reducing writing? Please share them with us in the comments below.
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