I write because I love to express my thoughts, maybe impart some optimism into anybody who chooses to read my daily views on news. But why do I go on, year after year, repeating the exercise? There are other things in my life that call me away. I should clean the house, spend more time chatting to my husband, carry on writing my novels or go outside and enjoy nature. Yet I sit here every morning without fail to search for the topic of the day.
No matter what you write or how you do it, the act of writing itself gives physical and mental health benefits. After a while you could experience improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. Incredible?
Participants spent less time in the hospital, enjoyed lower blood pressure and had better liver functionality than their counterparts. They did this by writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events.
New Zealand researchers in 2013 found that writing can make physical wounds heal faster than those who didn't write. Recording distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.
Studies have shown that, when they write, people with asthma have fewer attacks than those who don't, patients with Aids have higher T-cell counts, patients with cancer have more optimistic perspectives and improved quality of life.
One study found that blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to the effect from running or listening to music.
I get a similar effect every morning while I'm composing my topic for the day. I feel good, no pain intrudes, even an occasional headache fades away. I have to force myself to pause to eat breakfast so I can maintain the medication I'm taking. I feel GOOD.
So, to tap into writing's healing power, go ahead and write so you can understand your emotions and learn about yourself.
I, for one, didn't realize all the benefits I gain from my daily blogging. Oops! It's time for porridge.