The Challenge: Writing is often perceived as being an exhausting and time-consuming exercise with little reward: ever struggle to find the right word or craft the perfect sentence?
The Science: Research has shown that writing can actually help us cope with negative feelings and think with greater breadth and clarity.
The Solution: Get into a routine of writing every day to be happier and more successful in all areas of life.
One of the best-kept secrets of writing is that it has a vast number of benefits beyond the number of pages you type out. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing for a newspaper or crafting an essay. Studies have shown that the writing process can improve your health and boost your memory. Furthermore, current research works on proving that writing can actually improve your mood and make you happy. Experts like Laura A. King and Adam Grant believe that expressive writing can be beneficial in terms of motivation. They argue that writing about your thoughts, goals, and dreams can make you healthier and happier. So, what exactly are the benefits of writing? Here are the six most influential ways putting pen to paper can change your life:
Have you ever felt as if you cannot express yourself? Maybe you constantly have that ‘tip of the tongue’ feeling, or you just can’t get the thoughts out of your head. If you have ever felt like that, you might not be writing sufficiently. Regular writing can help people express their thoughts and communicate easily. In this way, it can increase emotional intelligence and communication skills. Research shows that it is highly beneficial in hard sciences, too like mathematics. Experts say: ”The practice of writing can enhance the brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and retrieving of information.” Who wouldn’t want those benefits? Write to think better.
Manage Your Emotions
Negative emotions color our view of the world. Writing can help us overcome our dismal or traumatic circumstances especially if you write a self-reflection. While this cannot get rid of all the bad completely, there are numerous studies that show writing is a good way to accept what has happened. A study conducted on recently fired workers concluded that those engineers who wrote about their feelings found a new job faster and much easier than those who did not. Apparently, writing helped them let go of their negative emotions. Writing can help you process all your emotions, not just the bad ones. If you have had some big change in your life like getting married, moving to a new place, or having a child, expressing your thoughts on paper can help you adjust to the new situation more rapidly.
Strengthen Your Mind
Just as you exercise to stay young and fit, writing can help you keep your mind healthy. The fact of the matter is the more you write, the more you keep your mind ‘in shape’ as you age. You could discuss everything out loud. But writing an essay is a great way to talk about anything you want to in private. Writing keeps your mind sharp and helps you adjust and accept things that are happening to you.
Change Your Outlook
Most people in the world would say that happiness is one of their long-term goals. If you are aiming to be happier, writing is a great way to achieve this. How can writing change your outlook on life? It is very simple. If you sit down and write about the positive things that happen every day, you will become more positive about the present and the future. Even the smallest things that make you happy are important since, once you put an accent on these instead of the bad things, you immediately start counting your blessings.
Most of the time, our minds are loaded with many different thoughts. You have probably felt as if you have too much information in your head and found it hard to focus on one. When we try to juggle many things at once, our brain is on fire. Fortunately, writing can help you translate abstract information into plain English. Once you have the information on paper, you can get it out of your mind and focus on things of bigger priority.
When you write something down, you remember it more easily. Have you ever made a to-do list for the sole purpose of remembering what you’re supposed to do in the day? I have. The writing process creates a memory in your head. This memory is reinforced by the photo memory you get once you look at the words on paper. Writing can help you build off less important and older thoughts, too. Once you write something down, you develop new ideas from looking at all previous thoughts in your essay. Think about it like this – the best authors in the world probably started with a simple essay, which turned into a few chapters that all turned into a bestseller.
Overall, writing is a great way to ensure happiness, health, and, most importantly, satisfaction. Indeed, a daily, routine writing practice provides a laundry list of benefits simply waiting to be reaped. As writer Silvia R. Seaman describes, writing is “a force that can reconstruct your entire life if you know how and when to express what’s troubling you. Once you do, you will find new meaning in things.”