Health Benefits of Expressive Writing

April 18, 2017

Would you believe that writing improves mental and physical health? Writing is commonly associated with one’s intellect. Writers are usually perceived as introverts, slouched to a desk, typing, having endless sips of caffeine, smoking, and drafting the next best-selling novel.

However, based on studies, writing contributes to the mental and physical well-being of a person specifically through expressive writing. Expressive writing is as simple as expressing one’s self through writing. This type of writing has more benefits than writing about something detached from the writer.

Expressive writing is similar to writing in a diary or a journal. However, it can vary in a medium using a pen and paper, or type on the computer. This can also be done through blogging.

In addition, writers do not need to pay much attention to grammar and sentence structure. However, it would help if you can write well so you can clearly understand the message you wish to convey when you read your creation.

The goal is to be able to vent out your innermost thoughts through writing. Expressive writing entails reflection, self-assessment, and self-awareness. In effect, this form of writing improves our well-being.

Mental health

Happiness

Writing about aspirations and achievement of future goals helps people feel happier. When we write down our future plans and goals, it gives us a sense of hope. With this, we can imagine situations when we are able to achieve our dreams.

This perception leaves us feeling happier about our life. Moreover, this wonderful feeling keeps us motivated to work towards achieving what we have been dreaming of.

Gratitude

In trying times, we tend to focus on the negative things happening in our lives. Expressive writing can help us uncover circumstances that we should be grateful for. We realize the good in whatever situation we are in.

We also realize things we should be grateful for even how simple it may be. It could entail the love of our family, the togetherness with our friends, or the ability to fulfill our passion.

Clarity

Writing your thoughts can bring clarity to your mind. There are times when our mind is cluttered with so many ideas. Putting these ideas into writing can help us organize and prioritize. Most often, we can better articulate our thoughts in writing than in speaking. We are able to explain more because it gives us more time to think.

Resilience

When you write about hardships you are going through, it helps the healing process. Writing involves reflection and assists you in putting things into perspective. This way, you can easily think of the causes and effects of the challenges you are going through. You can figure out ways on how to resolve the issue.

Also, it helps you to uncover the root of any negative event in your life. In effect, writing can help you determine ways to move on from the hardships and prevent it from happening in the future.

Learning

Expressing your thoughts in writing can help improve the learning process especially when you are writing using pen and paper. It’s a common notion that we retain information rather well when we write it. Also, the process of writing involves analytical and critical thinking. With this, we can better understand the logical connections between the information we write about.

Physical health

Improved memory

Similar to the improvement in the learning process, we also tend to retain information better and easily record it in our memory. Expressive writing can also help us clear our minds. When the brain is not cluttered, it is easier for us to save information in our memory.

Reduced health issues

Healthy mental and psychological state translates to a healthy physical body. When we are happier with our life, we are less likely to feel stressed. If we do encounter challenges along the way, we easily go through them when we are in a positive state of mind. In effect, expressive writing can help regulate blood pressure.

Furthermore, depressive symptoms are reduced. Our improved mood even results in the normal functions of our organs such as the lungs and the liver. When we are happy, we also tend to veer away from harmful vices such as alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, or substance abuse. As such, expressive writing does not just help our mind but the physical body as well.

Writing, in general, is beneficial to our well-being, especially through expressive writing. There are usually no rules in expressive writing but the often we do it, the better the results. When we regularly write, we also ponder on our life. In effect, when we believe what we write, we feel it through our mind and bodies.  

Overall, writing has therapeutic effects in our well-being. It helps us unravel ourselves to us. The benefits of writing to our health are endless. If you use expressive writing in our daily life, we can totally improve our health.

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