Latest Studies: Writing Can Improve Your Health
Latest Studies: Writing Can Improve Your Health
In this day and age, everyone writes something now and then. Whether it’s an e-mail, typing an essay/report or texting on a smartphone, everyone can say that writing is part of their lives. But how often do people REALLY write nowadays, considering this advancement in technology? It’s much easier now to type on the computer rather than add some ideas in your notebook. Thus, people no longer turn to the good old pen and paper.
Still, writing has been said to be beneficial to both the body and mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s expressive writing (which can be writing in a diary or writing a blog post) or any sort of gratitude journal, writing has been deemed healthy for you. And these are a few reasons why:
- Writing Improves Your Memory
It has been proven that handwriting can help you learn better. By stepping away from the computer and picking up that pen and paper, you can retain the information much better when you write. Studies have shown that when you are writing, you send signals to your brain and build your motor memory. This is the same principle applied to taking notes during courses. Even though you hear the information, you can lose all knowledge of it in a matter of minutes. It just flies away. But as long as you write it down, it can settle in, and you’ll have an easier time remembering what you just wrote.
- You Can Speed Up Healing By Writing Down Your Thoughts
If you went through a very traumatic experience, studies show that if you write down your thoughts and emotions, you might help speed up your healing process. By writing the events on paper, it is easier for you to come to terms with what happened. Your psychical wounds will start healing, and you’ll be on the right track towards getting better. Consider the pen and paper your medium, and your own psychologist. Instead of resorting to telling your deepest, darkest secrets to your therapist, you tell them to the paper – which works wonders.
But that is not all. Aside from the fact that it heals you emotionally, it has also been proven that it can heal you physically. Studies done by a research team from New Zeeland show that writing in your diary or starting a blog concentrating on your deepest, most innermost feelings and thoughts can help your physical wounds heal faster compared to those who don’t practice expressive writing. They experimented with a group of participants that had undergone emotional trauma, assigning them journals to write, and after a few weeks, they had skin biopsies taken from them – samples which left a wound on their body. They afterward followed the healing process and found that those who have been assigned to do expressive writing were healing much faster that those who were told not to write about their feelings.
Moreover, studies showed that writing out your emotions not only reduces your high blood pressure, but it can also decrease the severity of asthma, enhance immunity functions, relieve arthritis symptoms and promote overall healing. It even helped young people quit smoking.
- Writing is an Important Part of Your Gratitude Practice
There are many events that require you to express your appreciation, Thanksgiving being the holiday that is most known to everyone. When was the last time you actually made note of everything you were thankful for in this life? Studies conducted at the University of California show that by keeping a gratitude journal, you will be more optimistic in your life. Knowing that you have things to be thankful for makes you want to enjoy your life more, and even exercise more or engage in other activities compared to those who don’t keep such journals. Having a gratitude journal can make you feel much happier about your life, and you will only need to write once or twice a week to feel the effects.
Studies also show that writing down your gratitude also makes you sleep better. By just spending an average of 15 minutes before bedtime writing down what you’re thankful for, you will experience a longer, much better sleep. It does wonders to your sleeping pattern, and you will also wake up feeling more energized.
- Expressive Writing Helps Cancer Patients to Accept their Disease
A cancer diagnosis is usually one of the most traumatic experiences in one’s life. Knowing that you’re slowly dying and that your fight might end up either winning or losing can put a bleak perspective on your life. Still, a study conducted in 2008 and featured in The Oncologist shows that expressive writing helps cancer patients to think differently about their disease and accept it. Not only that, but it also showed that keeping a journal improves their quality of life. Attitude is sometimes everything, and by writing your thoughts down, you come to terms with the disease, and you are able to live on. The findings suggest that an average of 20 minutes of writing can change the way cancer patients think about their illness.
And that is not all. Another study was conducted on a group of cancer patients, asking them to spend at least 20 minutes every week to write about the effects cancer had on them. From their reports, it was revealed that they felt less pain from both the disease and treatment, and they were overall more emotionally stable that those who did not practice writing.
So, not only does writing make you feel healthier in mind, but it is also healthier for the body. The next time you feel down or ill, reach up for the nearest writing object and start writing down your feeling. Whether it’s a blog post that everyone can read or a diary that is solely destined for you to know, writing helps your mind, your memory, your mood and your physical body feel much better. Writing is a therapy which will definitely pay off in the long run.