Did you know that writing can make you happier and healthier?
People write for many different reasons. Some write because they feel compelled to express themselves and share their ideas with others. Others write because the act of writing, creating and recording their thoughts bring them pleasure. And so on.
Whatever the reason for taking up the pen or putting fingers to keyboard, studies show that writing offers a number of physical and mental health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of the positive health benefits that have been associated with writing.
When something good happens to you, do you feel even better about it after getting the chance to tell a friend, a family member or a coworker? I certainly do. The same goes for writing it down, and there’s a reason for this.
Researchers have found that writing about positive experiences can contribute to better moods, as well as fewer health center visits.
Chad Burton and Laura King conducted a study that they detailed in the Journal of Research in Personality. Their study sample consisted of 90 university students, who were asked to write for 20 minutes a day on three consecutive days. 48 of the students were asked to write about intensely positive experiences, while 42 of the students were asked to write about a control topic.
Burton and King found that those who had been asked to write about intensely positive experiences had more positive moods after the writing than did the other students. In addition, after three months, the positive experience students had a much lower number of visits to the health center for illness when compared to the control group.
Next time something good happens to you, try writing about it! It may make you feel even better.
Injury and illness are not a pleasant part of life, but they can and do happen, making healing and recovery all the more important in staying well over the long term. Curiously, writing may help to heal wounds faster.
New Zealand researchers conducted a study detailed in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. In the study, 49 healthy adults between the ages of 64 to 97 were asked to write about upsetting life events or about their daily activities for 20 minutes a day on three consecutive days. Two weeks after the writing, participants received punch biopsy wounds on the upper arm. The wounds were then regularly photographed for 21 days. Researchers found that those who had written about upsetting life events had healed significantly faster than those who had wrote about their daily activities. (The only other factor that also helped in faster healing was having gotten more sleep before receiving the wound.)
Do you ever write a little about the significant events that happen in your life? Whether they have made you happy or sad, there may be some physical benefit to writing about them.
Better Quality of Life
How good do you feel?
Quality of life generally refers to physical and psychological well-being, and includes how good you feel about yourself and what is happening around you. Writing, it has been found, can contribute to an improved quality of life.
Georgetown researchers in particular conducted a study that they detailed in the journal The Oncologist. In the study, cancer patients were assigned a 20-minute writing task while waiting for their appointment in a cancer clinic. They were then assessed after the writing task and again three weeks later.
Researchers in the study found that the writing produced changes in the way half of the patients thought about their illness, which was linked to a significantly better physical quality of life.
Now what about you? Are you willing to try this simple technique to improve your mood and your ability to heal?
Health Benefits of Writing
If you already like to write, that’s great. Keep on writing! Writing can be fun as well as a boost to your health. You can also publish a book.
Or if you’d like to start writing and you’re not sure how to begin, consider writing about what you know – you, your life, your feelings and what you’ve experienced. Start keeping a journal or even start writing your memoirs. The program Memoir Writing Made Easy provides a step-by-step formula you can use to write your memoirs in no time.
Also, check out our Writer’s Sprint, an online writing implementation session for writers like YOU!
For other writing options, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com.