“7 pages? That’s a lot to read!” my coworker surprised. I’ve just sent her my annual performance review for this year.

“Well, you asked for an essay, right? I only write out my performance as you asked,” I answered. “Anyway, it’s easy to read!”

Previously, my office use a questionnaire method for the performance review. This year, it just changed its performance review approach to an essay.

She looked for a second and eventually smiled. “Oh, yes. Your manager supposedly understands your heart and feelings from this,” she added. “You know what? Your writing is the longest compared to the others!”

As a finance person, this is quite flattering for me. Never occurred in my mind that my interest in writing can be utilized in my work. Finally, I can express myself through writing in my professional life. That is the first benefit that I feel from writing; it helps on our job. Although, I also think this feels weird…

I like journaling. A lot. But not in professional life 😁 (I write on my journal, no, diary). I was on and off writing for several years, but currently, I diligently write for the past 3 years. In good times, I write. In bad times, I write, too (even more than the bad times). I find that writing is therapeutic, especially when we’re feeling bad. And turns out, it is backed up by science. The next benefit of journaling is, when done correctly, can also help us to alleviate depression. In his book, Feeling Good and Feeling Great, the psychiatrist David Burns introduces cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) journaling techniques that can change about how the way we think, by ourselves.

Trying the journaling exercises, one of the most CBT journaling I like the most is the record of dysfunctional thoughts. The technique is quite simple. First, we write down what really happened. We write about the fact, the actual things, or the condition. Then, we write down our feelings or emotions. Separately. The next interesting part is to write what we thought about the condition. The thought, not the feelings. Because it’s different! By separating between the facts, our feelings, and our thoughts, we can analyze what causes us to feel certain emotions and feelings. With this, we can work our way to improve our thoughts. I have done this for several months and, I can tell you, my depression level decreased to a level that I don’t even aware of much. I’m not going to spoil the book, so, if you are interested you can read it by yourself. (Note that this is only my personal experience and I am not a medical professional, so, please take this message as a grain of salt.)

However, sometimes I feel saturated by only writing in my personal journal. Then I start blogging. It was not easy to find a good writing platform, so, when I found os.me, I was overly excited. I thought, wow, it is different from the other platform. Seems so promising to write here, every person is welcomed. Supported, even! No matter how young, how old, amateur, or expert.

When we write publicly, we would want to write valuable information. Or an inspiring story. A lesson learned. The thing that we write reflects ourselves; When you write about the benefit of meditation, you are most likely to meditate. When you write about productivity tips, you are most likely to be productive. So, to write about the good thing, we need to be good people, too. This is another way writing encourages us to do better. (But sometimes, this feels a burden for me. It’s like having to “do as we preach”. So, to avoid this guilty feeling, I’m less interested to write about certain topics, like productivity, since, duh, I’m not a productivity ninja.)

And the next thing on how writing improves our life is through the networking effect and virtue that came along with it, especially if we write here on os.me 😉. Sure, mostly writing is a solitary activity, but when we finished our writing, we would want to publish our work. We will need to interact with the outside world. Ultimately when we write here, in os.me, we will interact with the people. The positivity that is encouraged here is so motivating, this motivates us to return the kindness, too! The positivity cycle continues perpetually here. Even, this conditioned us to write nicely to people outside this platform, like to our friends or family. I remember what Prahalad said in his comment in another post, “One thing I love about os.me is how articles reinforce virtues.”

Another thing about writing is that if you write, you are most likely to read. I previously got a halt in my reading when I don’t write. When I write, I read more. And I don’t need to mention the benefit of reading, as I believe you know well about it!

Writing can save our relationship, too. When I am mad, I write my frustration. I can unleash my wrath healthily in the form of long and repetitive capslock entries rather than in person. This has saved me numerous potential conflicts!

Writing also helps us to reflect and relive positive memories. Sometimes I read my last year entries and can’t help but think, “How silly I am back then!”, “How come I think that way?”, “Why did I do that earlier?”, “Well, looks like somethings has changed,” or “Turns out I’m still as weird as years ago…” Try to dig your first journal entry, and you might be surprised at what you write earlier.

When I started my first journal entry, it never occurred to me that I will maintain a daily journaling habit. It was only for venting out my frustration. Turns out I still writing for years and ultimately blogging. Then I joined os.me and connect with like-minded members in this positive community. It was unexpected! Where will I be if I didn’t write back then? So much comes with writing. I look forward to what future will unfold.

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Ria R

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