Music has the ability to steer our mood with tempo and lyrics. However, at its core lyrical music begins as poetry. Another term for poetry is “verse,” which we’ve also become familiar with through song.
Writing poetry can be a very beneficial therapeutic practice. Here’s three ways poetry impacts you for the better.
- Poetry teaches us to simplify our complex world: “I used to tell my senior staff to get me poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers,” said Sidney Harman of Harman Industries, as quoted by the New York Times and Harvard Business Review. “They look at our most complex environments and they reduce the complexity to something they begin to understand.” At its heart, poetry is another form of communication, and through the use of clever imagery, unusual comparisons and deceptively simple language, complex themes can be easily described. Sometimes, it can be an almost visceral experience.
- Poetry writing fights anxiety: I’m going to wax personal here. Poetry is a favorite of mine when I am stressed or am experiencing conflicting emotions. It allows me to get ideas down fast while communicating the strange feelings associated with them. According to career magazine The New Social Worker, reading and writing poetry fights anxiety, though directly writing about the stressful situation in literal terms has a greater impact.
- It can boost your immune system: When we are stressed, so too can our immune systems become. According to Psychology Today, over 200 studies over more than two decades show links between disclosing challenging experiences in writing and “improvements in a wide range of health outcomes, such as self-reported moods and symptoms, doctor visits, immune cell counts, liver enzyme levels, and antibody response to vaccines.”
Grab a thesaurus and a pen and let’s get to work!
Care to share a verse?