Today is World Poetry Day, set up by UNESCO to “recognise the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind”. You don’t have to be a poet to write a poem. You can just sit down and let fragments of thought and feeling tumble onto the page. Writing a poem is a unique way of connecting to feeling, and can boost your wellbeing. Research has shown that the act of writing about emotional experiences has physiological and psychological benefits. Here’s how writing a poem can help you feel better:
- Giving emotions to the page can release you from them. The page can hold the feeling so you don’t have to.
- The structure and discipline of poetry can offer containment for overwhelming emotions.
- Putting your feelings onto paper or screen is like having your own personal therapist whenever you need to be heard and understood.
- Writing about your experience can help make meaning from chaos.
- Writing can help you understand and reconstruct the part of you that’s been hurt, shamed, stressed or depressed.
- A metaphor can work with difficult feelings without re-traumatising.
- If you feel stuck, write about your stuckness to release the energy.
- Writing things down helps you dis-identify from your emotions: you can HAVE emotions but don’t need to BE them.
- Having a piece of writing to look back on reminds you of the distance you’ve travelled between now and when the pain was experienced.
Happy World Poetry Day!
How to express your true feelings in words on World Poetry Day