Do you love writing? If so, I highly recommend this inspiring, transformative and affordable writing programme that I came across about a year ago: the Self Authoring Suite. It was created by four psychologists (Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, Dr. Daniel M. Higgins, Dr. Robert O. Pihl, Dr. Michalea C. Schippers) who used it on their university students with great success: they improved their grades and overcame psychological difficulties through these writing exercises. There are three parts, in which you are invited to write about your past, present (including your virtues and faults, which I found most interesting) and future. I love writing but I had felt uninspired by just journaling because I found that I kept complaining about the same problems year after year, without significant change taking place, because I wasn’t challenged to think about my life problems in a different way. That changed with the Self Authoring programme. It helped me recognize more clearly who I am and the writing was an experience of being in flow, which is something that happens way too rarely for me. Here’s the background to Self Authoring, taken from the project website:
We are a group of clinical and research psychologists from the University of Toronto, McGill and Erasmus University who are distributing tools that will improve psychological and physical health to interested individuals everywhere.
We believe that writing exercises such as those presented on this website can help people confront their past, understand and improve their personalities in the present, and increase the chances that their futures will be meaningful, productive and healthy.
Careful writing is a form of complex thinking, and thinking about your experiences, past, present and future, helps eliminate uncertainty and increase promise and hope.
This is of vital importance, because uncertainty triggers emergency mental and bodily responses, particularly through the action of the stress hormone cortisol, and chronic cortisol overproduction can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression and infection. Such overproduction is a major cause of mental degeneration, as well, and contributes to rapid aging.
It is not good for your mind and body to react to life as if it were an ongoing emergency.
Coming to terms with the past, improving the present, and planning the future can help you remove unnecessary stress from your life.
Check out this introductory video by one of the creators, Jordan B. Peterson, who is also known for his dedication to the defense of free speech (and who runs a highly interesting website):