I’m all about finding the work-life balance. For me this means that both, my personal life and my career get enough attention and time. But working in a busy environment is sometimes so demanding that recovering from work is hard. Feeling stressed in my free time is one of the most annoying things I know, but sometimes it just happens. Fortunately, I have figured out some ways to relieve stress and to feel more relaxed while still working hard. And since I love writing, unsurprisingly for me writing is the best way to relieve stress. And not just any writing but intuitive writing.
Whenever I feel stressed, depressed or tired I take my journal, crawl into my bed and start writing. Since it’s called intuitive writing I don’t really think, I just write. Sometimes I just write about my day and about my situation at work and why I actually feel like I feel. But sometimes I write things that I definitely didn’t see were coming. In my opinion this is the secret of intuitive writing. You can discover a lot of new things and to find out what are the things that are really bothering you.
Intuitive writing or journaling is something I’ve always done. But in July I took it to the next level and attended an online course of intuitive writing. It was kind of a game-changer for me and I really feel like I want to share my experience with you. I’ve never attended a non-career related online course before and I actually don’t know what made me attend this time. Maybe I was following my intuition. Anyway, I felt a bit sceptic at first. Because I really didn’t see how I was going to benefit from that course. There were no goals or really anything to accomplish. The whole course was just about writing. So, I decided to just go with the flow and write. And that’s exactly the right approach to intuitive writing.
The course itself was quite simple. In every 3 days I received one writing task via email. There was always this one word like rain, blooming, sun, moon, stars, etc. and then some thoughts and questions I should think about while writing. But the real point of these tasks was to write. Read the task and then write whatever came to your mind. There were no right or wrong thoughts, you just write. And I can’t really describe the feeling I had after every task. Usually I felt empty but very content. Sometimes I discovered something new but mostly I just felt content. And after the course I felt purified. Like I had had this mental detox or something. It felt incredibly good.
Get started with intuitive writing
If you feel like you’re stressed out or if you find it hard to focus on your vision I really suggest you give intuitive writing a try. Here are some benefits of it according to myself.
- You feel more relaxed and less anxious after you’ve wrote down your thoughts
- It’s a great way to learn more about your own (hidden) dreams and desires
- After clearing your thoughts it’s easier to set new goals and to stay focused
- Intuitive writing is a great way to reveal your most embarrassing feelings or scary thoughts in a safe way
For me intuitive writing is basically like meditating. It’s something I do every day so that I can leave my messy thoughts behind and move on. If you feel anxious, stressed or uninspired you should definitely give it a try.
But how to get started? It’s very easy. Here’s your step by step guide to intuitive writing:
Step 1: Make some time for yourself
You don’t need to write for hours but make sure you’ve got at least 15-20 minutes just for yourself. You don’t necessarily need to be alone, I usually write while my boyfriend is watching Netflix at the same room. But if you get distracted very easily, you should probably make sure no one is going to interrupt you during this writing session. You can write in the morning or in the evening or whenever you have time. I prefer writing it the evening, but it’s really all about you.
Step 2: Get (as) relaxed (as possible)
Crawl into your bed or pick another place where you feel safe and comfy. Pour yourself some tea or coffee and make sure you feel all warm, cozy and relaxed. Also, I suggest you don’t try this practice when you’re hungry since it really makes concentrating a lot harder. The point is to be as relaxed and as comfortable as possible. During the practice you may feel emotional, sad or angry and trust me, you don’t need any other distractions here.
Step 3: Take a pen and paper
I’m a big fan of writing my thoughts down to a real paper. And I feel like intuitive writing works best when you use real pen and paper instead of your laptop or other device. At least for me writing my thoughts down with computer would be way too fast. When you use this good ol’ pen and paper method, you have more time to process your thoughts while writing.
Step 4: Just write
Intuitive writing is really about writing down whatever comes to your mind. Just keep going and don’t stop until you’ve completely run out of thoughts. If you find beginning hard, just write down things you’ve done today. Or you can take advantage of one of those prompts I’ve listed at the end of this post.
Step 5 (optional): Read what you’ve written and create a plan of attack
Writing things down and letting them go on is definitely enough. But if you want to improve your life, discover your hidden passions or really identify some problems to make changes, I suggest you read what you’ve written. Then create some kind of plan of attack. This can simply be a to do list or some kind of a short conclusion. Or if you prefer you can create a real plan, set some goals and put them in your calendar. It’s totally up to you.
20 Writing prompts for you
Don’t know what to write? Here are 20 writing prompts that’ll help you to get started with intuitive writing.
- When do you feel most alive?
- Where do you think you belong?
- What are your core values?
- Is there some part of you that you are purposefully trying to hide? Why?
- When you think you can be your authentic self?
- When was the last time you lived so fully at the moment that you forgot all the other things?
- What are your best qualities?
- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in past 6 months?
- If you didn’t need any money, what would you do with your life?
- Describe the 5 biggest moments of your life you’re going to remember when you’re 97 years old?
- What you learned from your first love?
- Why do you feel angry and why?
- What/who inspires me the most?
- If I could hare one message with the world, what would it be?
- What does my ideal day look like?
- At the end of my life, what do I want to be my legacy?
- When was the last time you felt proud of yourself?
- What does hope mean to you?
- How you feel about resilience and what are the things you’re committed to?
- What do you want to undo and why?
I hope these will help you to get started with intuitive writing. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.