Here is how writing helps with mental health
“You can make anything by writing.” – C.S Lewis
Can you recall the last time you wrote something? Besides your WhatsApp texts and Facebook updates, we mean. Writing is one of the most liberating experiences you can have. It is an excellent way of channeling your thoughts onto paper and maybe even spread your ideas. Regular writing can have a myriad of psychological benefits which might make you want to grab a pen and paper as soon as possible. For instance, writing can improve your:
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In the age of social media and instant messaging, our personal word banks are constantly diminishing. We communicate over texts mostly using abbreviations and emojis. In fact, this has become so common that some even believe that emoji is the fastest growing language in the UK. You might not see this as a problem that needs your attention while texting a friend, but what about real world situations that call for real communication skills? How would you feel if you don’t find the right words at a meeting or if you don’t find the right way to put words together to convey your ideas?
This is where writing comes to your rescue. Regular writing has proven to be highly effective in helping people improve their communication skills. In fact, even complex ideas of mathematics and hard sciences can be communicated better if you practice regular writing.
When we speak about the effect of writing on our moods, people tend to assume that only expressive writing can help in this. However, you do not have to go to the mountains, find a house, celebrate your solitary confinement and churn out Shakespearean prose to experience an elevated mood. Even simple things like writing in a journal, planner or even a blog can show positive effects on your mood.
Research has shown that writing about life goals can help you feel happier and healthier. Another study showed that when those handling stressful jobs wrote about their experiences in a journal, their productivity increased. Blogging can also have a therapeutic impact on our lives. In fact, writing also helps to alleviate the negative effects of stress and depression.
It has often been emphasised how writing by hand can lead to improved learning abilities. This has always been accepted as fact and hence, students are encouraged to actually make notes using pen and paper. The physical act of writing sends signals from your hands to your brain and builds your motor skills. The mental effort and time taken to write also helps in improving memory.
In fact, writing also helps you build on your old thoughts. The idea of committing to pen and paper can seem so enticing that you tend to want to research more about the topic. As a result, people find paragraphs turning into essays or even books.
Regular writing is like an exercise for the brain. The physical act of writing engages your motor skills, memory and much more. According to Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, the sequential finger movements activate massive regions in the brain that are involved in thinking, language and working memory—the system for temporarily storing and managing information, as reported in The Wall Street Journal. It is said that writing is a cognitive exercise for ageing individuals who want to keep their minds sharp. In addition to this, writing also helps improve concentration and decision-making abilities.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your notebook and pen now and start writing!