The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing

JournalI write. I write for money and I write to share my passion and knowledge for certain subjects. However, I also write for therapeutic reasons. This may sound a little strange to a non-writer but writing, like other creative outlets such as art and music, can really help to maintain a balance in your life and keep you healthy. Expressing you feelings through writing, whether its anger, grief, passion or sorrow, gives you an outlet for your emotional health and may help avoid some of the symptoms of stress. Writing can be a personal or public activity and there are several ways in which you can record writings today.

Why Writing is Healthy

Writing is good for your emotional and mental health because it allows you to express feelings that may otherwise stay bottled up inside of you. This can lead to repressed feelings of anger or sadness that, left unchecked, can lead to more serious emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. You don’t have to be a natural writer if you are just writing for yourself; the important thing is to put it all in writing. The health benefits of journaling (or keeping a personal memoir/diary) include:

  • strengthened immune cells
  • decreased symptoms of asthma
  • decreased symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • resolve of disagreements
  • more effective problem solving
  • better physical health.

(source: Health Benefits of Journaling, Maud Purcell)

What to Write About

Writing is personal (depending on the subject matter which you choose to write about) and not everyone wants to share their innermost feelings on the world wide web through tools such as blogging; however, writing in itself is therapeutic and sometimes you can de-personalize a familiar subject by writing in the third person or writing an informative article for others who maybe experiencing a similar life event, e.g. birth, death, marriage. Even happy life events can be stressful and sometimes it helps to get your feelings down on paper (or the keyboard). The rule is – there is nothing that you can’t not write about!

Ways to Record Your Writing

In today’s modern world there are several mediums for recording your writings apart from the traditional paper and pen; it all depends if you want to share your thoughts with the world or with yourself. Ways in which you can record your writing include:

  • journaling/diary – you can take the traditional route and keep a daily/weekly journal/diary of your personal thoughts and feelings either on paper or on your computer. No one has to see these thoughts except you – unless you choose to share
  • art journaling – if you are more expressive in pictures, photos and art, you may want to start an art journal. The difference between art journaling and regular journaling is that art journals contain all sorts of creative art materials such as photos, pictures, clippings etc that can be presented as a collage in various colors and mediums (see: How to Create and Keep an Art Journal for more information)
  • blogging – blogging is the modern equivalent of traditional journaling/keeping a diary. You can set up a blog for free with places such as blogger and wordpress. However, although you can choose to write about anything that comes into your head, most blogs are publicly available on the world wide web so you have the potential for millions of readers. Be careful what you share!
  • letter writing – not many people use the traditional “snail mail” as a form of communication today but sometimes it is better to sit down and write a letter the old-fashioned way. In addition, you may want to express your feelings to someone through a letter and it may help to write it all down; you don’t have to send it when you have finished writing it but you may be surprised at how much better you feel for having taken the time to do so.

To Write or Not to Write

Writing is not for everyone because sometimes it is difficult to see your words looking back at you from the paper or computer screen; however, writing is not a new art and many well known authors and artists have kept personal memoirs of their daily thoughts and feelings. It is perhaps one of the cheapest and most effective forms of therapy in today’s stressful world!

Photo by witchnymph


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