We hear now of more and more ways of living healthy lives.But I think it’s important to live a life of worth.What does it mean,to be of worth ? We must live first of all in a way that suits our nature and since we are part of a whole we must also live in ways that do not harm others and hopefully helps some of them.One problem is increasing in the affluent West and the USA and similar countries.This is the well known fact that more and more of us suffer from stress,worry and depression.Maybe the more serious psychic disturbances are also increasing.This can lead to violence
I have heard my friends say that writing poetry or keeping a journal is therapeutic.But is it not true that some forms of talking or conversing are therapeutic and some are harmful or maybe just pointless? A good friend whom we trust is a person with whom conversing may be beneficial,whereas “dumping” your problems on someone may give only momentary relief.I feel real friend listens and may comment,may even criticize.Someone you know less well may react badly.You must not blame them for you are ignorant of their personal life and difficulties.
Conversation of course has the advantage that you are with the person to whom you talk and can stop or adapt your talking in the light of their nonverbal responses.To a lesser extent it is also true on the phone if you know someone well.
Just as gazing into the lighted front window of a large home filled with people and pictures and lovely furniture may make you envious so may your fantasied views of others around you.And yet it is likely they feel pain just like you ;we operate often from a view of life which is a poor fit with reality [whatever that is]
Since conversation may be good,bad or meaningless so it is with writing.
Writing comes from .your experience but must convey it in a manner by which others can feel the truth of what you are saying.As with music, poetry can say certain things not possible in other ways.And as in music there are forms developed down the centuries in which others have expressed their feelings. I have read that writing poetry in a structured form is therapeutic,But writing in free verse may not be.In either case poetry can stir up deep feelings.
Fiona Sampson, author of,The Expert Guide to writing poetry, advises that you keep the phone number of the Samaritans near when writing poetry but prose may be less stirring
I read about the value of structured writing in an article about Sylvia Plath.I am sorry I cannot find the reference as yet.Some people say writing prolonged her life,others that the kind of writing she got into at the end may have precipitated her suicide.We cannot know the answer but we should be aware that it may not be “letting it all out” that helps but the shaping and sculpting of the material into a form which pleases us and others
Alternatively writing about Nature ,other people,love, may turn our minds in a new direction away from our mind’s idle chatter