Some of us are great at writing, and some of us admit we’re terrible. And in between, there’s a group who have some skills, but grammar, syntax and creativity really aren’t their friends.
Well, regardless of where we see ourselves on the ‘writer’s scale’, we should all be writing.
Because there are many health benefits of writing.Did you know that writing has been scientifically proven to improve your health? Click To Tweet
Journaling — a different kind of writing
Journaling (aka keeping a diary) is an ancient practice. Many successful and famous figures from history kept diaries, journals and wrote letters. And today, they provide a fascinating insight into their lives, and the social and political structure of the day.
But other than keeping a record of events, writing has been scientifically proven as being beneficial to your health
Health benefits of writing
Good for the mind and soul
Expressive writing (i.e. writing about traumatic or emotional experiences) has been linked to a host of benefits. One of the major health benefits of writing about stressful or unexpected life developments is that it can help you cope with the emotional fallout of such events. It can help you:
Cope with depression
Proritise problems, fears and concerns
Track symptoms and identify anxiety or depression triggers
Identify negative thoughts and behaviours, and turn them into positive ones.
It has also been shown to improve problem-solving skills, working memory, sporting performance, and academic performance. Pretty impressive, hey?
Good for the body
If that’s not enough, writing regularly can also improve your physical health. Studies have shown putting pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard) can lead to:
Improved immune system
Reduced blood pressure
Improved lung function, including reduced symptoms of asthma
Reduced symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Improved liver function.
Why does it work?
Scientists are still unclear as to why we receive physical health benefits from writing. However, the emotional benefits relate to how we use our brain during the writing process.
When we write, we access the left side of our brain — the analytical and rational part. While this side is occupied, our right side is free to create, feel and understand. Writing seems to help remove mental blocks, and allows us to access our brains in order to better understand ourselves, those around us, and the world in which we live.
How can you benefit?
The good news is you don’t have to be talented to reap the health benefits of writing, nor do you have to make your writing public. Experts recommend you:
Write every day — even if it’s only for a few minutes
Make the process easy — use pen and paper, or use a computer
Write what comes to mind — there is no structure, or rules to follow
Forget about formalities — don’t worry about spelling, grammar or punctuation.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and a notebook and start your journey to a healthier body and mind today.