When people think of writers, they usually picture introvert people, sitting in a dark room or alone in a Starbucks, typing away obsessively. Most people think of writers as just book authors, but as we all know writing is so much more.
A lot of people, that might not even consider themselves writers, use writing as a tool to create, express and think.
Regular writing has a lot of benefits and we are ready to explore them! Let’s dive in.
Happiness is yet to be defined and captured in its full capacity unless you are a yogi who devoted their life meditating and reaching nirvana.
Oh the other hand, lack of ‘happiness’ is what drives the market and capitalism at the end of the day. So perhaps a better word for it would be ‘Joy’.
But since the term happiness is more widely used, we will also use it here.
Sage Journals published the results of a controlled study connecting happiness and well-being to writing. At the end of their report, they state that writing has therapeutic health benefits. So there you have it, science is backing the art of writing as a cure to misery.
Writing daily has also been linked to improved mood and reduced stress.
1. Writing and Well-Being
Even if you are not a professional writer, adopting writing in your daily life will help you get your emotions and thoughts in order. Imagine your head like a bag full of ‘things’ you are carrying with you everywhere. You keep collecting ‘things’ and eventually, you feel overwhelmed.
Writing is the process of unpacking and making space for new ‘things’. This results in huge benefits in your mental clarity and health. The same study we cited above was performed on undergraduate students. These students had to write about their goals and any personal trauma they had experienced. In the end, they all reported a noticeable improvement in their emotional compass and overall mood.
Writing is a safe method for humans to express thoughts we feel we can’t share with our friends and family (yet). Writing comes with no judgment and it allows us to categorize and organize complex issues.
Let’s not forget the modern trend of writing down our goals, dreams, and creating vision boards. Haven’t we all done something similar?
The need to create lists and write down important information goes beyond the primary function of ‘a reminder’. It taps into our soul, it is encoded in our DNA perhaps, and doing so feels wholesome and needed.
Writing is the gravitational pull that forces us to pay attention to our thoughts and feelings. When writers develop content, especially for their own personal use, they connect with the ‘soul’. In a sense, it is one of the oldest forms of mediation.
Psychology Today mentions the strong connection between writing and self-awareness.
As Aristotle said: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Although the effort to understand ourselves through writing is not an easy one, with enough writing you will begin to see patterns and breakthroughs happening.
As we experience life, various events and people will trigger a variety of emotional reactions. Sometimes these emotions appear out of nowhere too. Writing helps sort this mess out and ultimately gives us self- perspective.
Most of us are familiar with the book ‘The Secret’, the law of attraction and that entire theory and mindset, right?
Some dismiss it as new age mumbo jumbo.
Forbes published an article that highlights neuroscience explaining how writing down our goals and dreams makes it more possible to achieve them.
So if you were not part of the ‘believers’ you might have to reconsider a few things.
The article goes in-depth on why this works and how people that write down their goals are more likely to succeed. One of the few things mentioned is the idea of external encoding.
External encoding simply means that by having our goals written down makes it more accessible for us to revisit them.
Daily life will take a toll on us at some point. We all get tired and all we want to just to go on vacation and have nothing to do for a few days. Right?
By externalizing our goals and aspiration is like keeping your roadmap to success literary in your hands daily. It becomes a physical thing and it is no longer just a thought.
More recent research has indicated that creative writing propels us into an upward spiral of joy. It pushes us to seek more experiences and live fuller lives.
Well-being, self-awareness, and achievements are all important milestones on our journey for lasting joy and happiness.
And for many of us, writing is more than that. Writing can lead to a creative career of continual learning and research.
Set yourself some writing goals for 2020 and reach new levels of joy!