Writing does more than express ideas and encourage thought, it can improve your quality of life. Brain and body health work hand-in-hand, and one cannot thrive without the other. In the grip of depression, people often feel exhausted or sick. When joyous or happy, the body mirrors those emotions with a healthy glow. What are some ways you can encourage your well-being by adding some writing to your day?
Few are lucky to go through life without experiencing stress or trauma. In 2005, a study was conducted on those with a history of traumatic experiences and ways to cope. The results showed significant improvement in patients who journaled about their feelings. Patients who regularly used the journal to express their feelings spent fewer days in hospitals, displayed stronger immune systems, and even better liver functions. Expressing their inner turmoil through journaling acted like a syringe, drawing out the darker, venomous thoughts that can so easily lead to physical and mental sickness.
Health benefits don’t stop with trauma sufferers. Those suffering from asthma and rheumatoid arthritis can also reap the benefits of the written word. Asthma patients who wrote about their most stressful experiences displayed improved lung function. Indicating an increase of lung performance up to 10% after just four months, addressing deep issues through writing allowed these asthma sufferers to breathe a little easier. Similarly, when rheumatoid arthritis patients were tasked with writing, those with an emotional investment in their work displayed a marked drop in their symptoms.
Diseases from breast cancer to depression can all be fought with writing. While by no means a panacea or replacement for traditional medicine, writing helps address what medicine cannot. The strength of expression dives deeper than flesh, reaching where we often need healing the most. Shedding light on our darkest recesses can remind us that we’re never without hope, and all that’s needed to fight back is a pen and paper. For more on the healing power of print, follow the link here.