Writing helps you think

If your thinking gets stuck, here’s an idea that can help unblock things: writing helps you think. Longhand, that is, the old fashioned way (at least, that’s what works for me).

Thinking about a problem, or a personal issue, can lead to a process like peeling an onion: what initially appears as a singular concern gradually reveals layers of underlying aspects. Without wanting to complicate things, reflection inevitably helps the mind do what is does best, look for interconnected issues. Some of these can prove more significant than the initial concern in significance and scope.

Consider, for example, the worrying about feeling anxious anxiety. You might get stuck thinking about is as an isolated problem, locked into an endless cycle of rumination. Writing helps you think differently; the act of putting pen to paper and reflecting often unveils underlying aspects and causes. You don’t have to be able to turn a perfect phrase and what you write doesn’t even have to make sense. When it’s just for you it becomes a uniquely personal examination that can reduce tension and anxiety, boost your sense of self and your confidence.

It’s not just personal

You can apply this to any situation or problem; there are many examples of how to use writing constructively for clearing the mind, journaling, and problem solving.

In essence, the act of writing about personal problems serves as a catalyst for uncovering broader realities. It prompts introspection and fosters a deeper understanding of the interconnected nature of human experiences. Through this lens, personal narratives become avenues for broader societal reflection and, ultimately, catalysts for positive change.

A powerful tool

Writing serves as a powerful tool for introspection and reflection, giving a deeper insights into personal experiences and their broader implications. By capturing your thoughts and feelings on paper, you can engage in a process of cognitive restructuring, allowing you greater clarity, and new perspectives.

A final significant point is that the writing – particularly longhand – encourages mindfulness. This has all sorts of benefits, countering stress and reducing tension, for example, that go beyond reporting or record keeping. Through this process, writing becomes not only a means of expression but also a pathway to self-discovery and personal growth. As you display a personal problem on the page, you make it an object in front of you, rather than a nebulous idea inside you. Be patient, you may not solve the problem there and then, but you’ll start a reflective process that will keep working, even while you sleep.

If your thinking gets stuck, writing helps you think, so stop the struggle and pick up a pen.


I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.