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Last week I posted about great gifts you could get to book lovers, and today I thought I would talk about one of the latest books I have read: The Power of Writing it Down: A Simple Habit to Unlock Your Brain and Reimagine Your Life by Allison Fallon. It is an easy and quick read that encompasses lots of truths and pulls from many pieces of research and book I was familiar with., clearly and succinctly packaged. Reading this book has given me clarity on the benefit of such practice and why it feels so good to do “write it down”. I have had an interesting relationship with writing. I have never consistently kept diaries and instead wrote notes on various notebooks. I have to admit that since I applied myself to writing a journal more regularly I feel better.
Things to Remember
For the first time ever, I used a reading journal, and thought I would share some of the quotes I connected with personally and wrote down:
“Our brain has been designed with survival in mind. They have mastered the skills of automating behavior to make it as easy as possible” page 7
“This is not to say that writing is a cure-all or that we should all ditch our pharmaceutical drugs in favor of regular writing practice. It is to see that writing – if we are open to it – can have a measurable impact on every area of our lives including our mental and emotional health. Words are that powerful.” page 19
“There’s something about capitalizing on charged emotion that makes the writing seem easier.” page 111
“Your buried thoughts and beliefs are driving your behavior.” page 139
“Writing is not a golden ticket or a magic pill. But facing a blank page, exactly because it is difficult is a tool proven by science to bring us back into alignment with ourselves.” page 162
“Lying and keeping secrets has a long term impact on our physical, emotional and mental health … several studies I read presented evidence that secrets take a physical work and make us tired” page 164
Finally, I will share Fallon’s exhaustive list of “What Writing Can Help Us Do”:
- Name our experience so we can more fully understand it
- Give language to the future we want to create so it stops feeling vague and begins to seem achievable
- Build a bridge (neural pathways) between the now we’re experiencing and the future we’d like to create
- Heal and engineer our own resilience from past experience
- Find perspective for life’s challenges, large and small
- Invent brand new solutions for old age problems
- Build our confidence
- Increase our working memory and overall cognitive power
- Cultivate more gratitude and contentment
- Provide clarity for our decisions
- Increase satisfaction in our romantic partnership
- Level up our immune system, helps us sleep better
- Combat and curb anxiety, stress and depression
- Tune out the well meaning and critical voices around us so we can finally understand what we think”
Using my New Knowledge
I wrote this list down on a board and displayed it at my even at the last event. Many people liked and inquired about it (you’re welcome Allison – and also thanks for putting it down). This book definitely encouraged me to be even more assiduous in my daily gratitude and writing practice, and maybe if you are like me, it will too!
Isn’t it amazing how such a simple task like writing can totally change your life? I don’t think enough people consider the benefit of writing things down. Looking back, I realize how it has been central to my betterment: in Highschool then later in college, I used it as a tool to study, in my poetry and my songwriting an attempt to express myself on topics that were close to my heart. Reading about the science behind it gives me an even stronger purpose to keep at it and makes me want to write even more and spread the word. This may as well be one of the most efficient tools to change the world as we currently see it, and I truly hope that I can be an advocate for that.
Here are some of my current gratitude notebooks. For more notebooks, please click here.