Writing to me is a large portion of my life; whether writing for this Blog, for magazines, for my cook book, my novel, my play or even that degree I slot in occasionally. Since it takes up so much of my time I thought I would see if it is doing anything for my health- apart from ruining my neck and giving me a double chin through my writing angle. After doing a bit of research I found that effectively the amount of health benefits that can be gained through writing means that, in my eyes at least, it is an exercise. That means then that I am in actual fact an athlete, but seriously though there are tonnes of benefits to regular writing.
The benefits of diary writing is well recognised as being great for processing emotions which is why in courses like anger management you are asked to write a diary. Research has found that writing about your thought processes and emotions towards something can better help you understand and overcome that thing. People who have been fired find it easier to get work after coming to terms with what has happened through writing. Those in accidents can work through their trauma through writing about their emotions. It has also been found that writing about your emotions before an exam can significantly increase success rates. I don’t tend to do the whole diary thing though as I think if I wrote down my thoughts and emotions I may be whisked away by men (or women) in lab coats. What about other forms of writing then?
Well it has been found that most forms of writing, whether it be diary, creative, poetic or anything else you want to write, can prove to have a positive effect on depression, anxiety, blood pressure and lung health. If you sit down and write a little something everyday it will be benefiting both your mind and your body.
As I mentioned it can help those with depression. When suffering from depression it is an achievement to even get out of bed in the morning. You don’t want to do anything, you may even feel like you physically can’t do anything. This is why writing can help as it provides a little thing to do that is a stepping stone to help yourself. If your goal is to write a paragraph a day or even a short blog post then that is a motivation to get up and do something. Once you have achieved that one thing you can begin to find that you can do something that can encourage you to do more. Perhaps to write larger pieces or to get into journalism or poetry or creative writing. From this you can feel you are achieving something and as such over time will feel you can go out into the world and achieve other things. Writing is an exercise.
In addition to these already impressive health benefits writing can also be a great way of waking up your mind and developing your writing abilities. There are few things that make you think about the world we are in and really put our minds to the test like writing does. You need to find a topic and develop that into an article sized piece by analysing studies but also by looking at the world around you, take it in and begin to understand it.
By writing you will grow not only as a writer but also as a person in mind and body. Writing is an exercise.