There’s a misconception that creative writers wallow in their own emotions, especially negative ones. It possibly stems from the beliefs that artists are troubled souls. Thus, writers are either often sad or angry which is evident in their writings. But you see, there are more studies to prove that writing is actually good for your health. Or to put it in a more scientific point of view, writing has physical and mental benefits.
Besides being a better communicator and increasing their chances to boost their career, writing also has a more personal and meaningful effect on a person. It’s not just all in the head, however, because there’s a scientific basis when claiming that writing can improve a person’s physical and social disposition.
What Kind Of Writing Is Beneficial To One’s Health?
It’s not as simple as writing trivial things. Writing about what you had for lunch or what happened in your lazy afternoon isn’t enough to have a long-term effect on one’s health. It’s expressive writing that can do the trick to finding happiness.
In a study conducted by psychologists Karen Baikie and Kay Wilhelm, writing down one’s deepest thoughts and emotions result to a far greater decrease in long-term health problems. It may be difficult to understand how writing can positively affect a person. But in Baikie and Wilhelm’s study, writing about the most traumatic and upsetting experience can actually relieve one from the stress.
Be it writing in a blog or a journal, letting oneself express their thoughts in writing is a good way to release tension.
What Are The Detailed Benefits Of Writing?
Writing expressively has the tendency of letting negative emotions resurface. But that’s merely a short term effect. The long-term effect of this practice shows a more active and evident effect on one’s well-being, physically and mentally. It’s surprising how writing is something one does by himself, but the changes it does in a person can be seen outwards, or more specifically, in how they interact with other people.
Some of the notable health benefits of writing:
- Fewer stress-related complaints – Since the individual is already letting it out on paper, there is no need to actively voice it out all the time. Though the stress doesn’t magically disappear, it takes it off their mind for a while.
- Less symptoms of depression – One of the best effects of expressive writing is how it tones down the chances of getting depressed. Writing gives them a channel to express their greatest fears and anxiety. Writing helps one heal quicker.
- Better health condition – Much has been said on how stress negatively affects one’s health. So when stress is lifted, an individual also improves one’s physiology. A better lung and liver condition are just some of the benefits of it.
- Improves memory – There’s simply no denying that it’s easier to remember things when you write down your thoughts and the things that happen to you. Writing things down helps one retain it in his memory.
- Less absenteeism from work – Most stress issues comes from work, and being absent is one of the ways people try to escape from it. But once they write their worries about their jobs, they cope with it better. Thus, facing their work dilemmas are more bearable than usual.
- Easier time looking for job after unemployment – Being unemployed is enough to dampen one’s spirit and lose confidence. With the help of writing, they can jot down their fears and release their stress on paper. Getting back on their feet is made easier when they have less tension on their shoulders.
Some people are apprehensive to try writing because of the horrors it brought to them back in school. Just hearing the words writing or essay is enough to send them running away. But there’s no need to be the next Mark Twain to reap the effects of expressive writing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not that good in writing. So what if you don’t get A’s for your school essays, and you often struggle to get out the right words. It’s all in how you express it freely, not how well you write it. You’re not in an essay writing competition here. It’s merely writing to express one’s self.
Writing isn’t just for communicating with others through your written words. It can also be for communicating with yourself. It helps on understanding your own emotions and finding out how you can deal with what you’re going through.
If it works for people with psychological disorders, it’s only a given that it works even for those who are merely suffering from stress and unhappiness. Practicing expressive writing may not effect in an instant, but gradually and surely, you take a step closer to happiness every time you do so.
About the author: Robine Fisher is a proofreader and researcher for Bestdissertation.
Photo: Pankaj Kaushal