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How to Use Reflective Writing to Achieve Clarity 

Reflective writing is a way to document your response to experiences, communicate your thoughts and achieve clarity.  

This kind of writing is about being analytical rather than descriptive. Focus on asking why instead of just describing what happened during an experience. As a prompt, find a picture, poem, quote, memory or object that evokes an emotion, and then use writing to explore your response.  

You can try out reflective writing with this short exercise that uses relaxation and visualization. All you need is a piece of paper and something to write with. 

Using the Edward Hopper painting “The Sea Watchers,” complete the following activities.  

Activity 1  

Clear your mind and try not to assign a story to what is going on in the painting. Instead, write for three minutes nonstop about what feelings the painting evokes. Start with “I feel …”  

Activity 2  

Place yourself in the painting as an observer and create a story around what you see. Write for three minutes nonstop about what you observe from your vantage point.  

Activity 3  

Place yourself in another spot in the painting. Write for three minutes nonstop about what you observe from your new vantage point. 

Reflective writing should be in the first person, analytical, free-flowing and subjective. Think of it as a tool to challenge assumptions. It can be used as a way to approach evaluations or brainstorm projects.  

Learn more about the benefit of reflective writing in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources.    

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Photo credit: Getty Images

 

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