If you are a person who is oriented towards writing more than the people around you and likes to express himself in this way, you know how relaxing, clarifying and enriching this habit is. Even in the middle of the day, while still in the office, you may feel anxious and can’t wait to go home and continue writing. Ideas may be constantly flowing in your head, and it can be difficult to keep track of all of them. You may be enjoying the act of writing itself. What you may not realize is that writing has many medical benefits as well.
Researchers from New Zealand conducted a study of biopsies among healthy elderly people aged between 64 and 97 years. The control group was asked to write as much as possible about factual daily activities or the condition of their room. The experimental group was instructed to write about their past traumatic, unsettling personal experiences. Both groups wrote 20 minutes each for three days in a row. Then, to allow for negative emotions that arose by remembering sad events in turn, the scientists delayed the biopsy for two weeks. A biopsy was then performed and subjects continued to be followed for 21 days to monitor recovery. 76 percent of the experimental group recovered in 11 days. Only 42 percent of the control group recovered in the same period. One of the most important questions that emerged was how reflective writing helped so much in such a short time.
Writing reduces stress levels through emotional expression
Elizabeth Broadbent, one of the authors of the study, emphasizes that writing about a deeply influential and upsetting event allows experimental participants to think more rationally about their feelings, which in turn reduces the stress surrounding the aforementioned events.
The health benefits of writing are not limited to this research. Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. James Pennebaker has kept expressive writing at the center of his work for nearly 20 years. Dr. Pennebaker was the first to try to popularize this methodology and bring it to the application phase. Dr. Pennebaker and his team find it difficult to limit the benefits of expressive writing.
Patients with arthritis, HIV / AIDS, cancer, asthma and cystic fibrosis are making great improvements when they spend 15-20 minutes a day to write. They are better able to organize their thoughts and get rid of the past more easily.
Dr. Pennebaker was asked many times why this approach worked so well. “Emotional riots touch every part of our lives … Writing helps us focus and organize our experiences,” he said in an interview.
Some of this information may seem too good to be true. Could writing about personal feelings and thoughts really change the body’s response to illness or disability? While it sounds incredible, even a bit magical, the evidence is there, and this mental-emotional therapy has been improving people’s lives since 1999.
- Write something deep, personal, and critical emotionally.
- Write non-stop for 20 minutes,
- Keep doing this for 5 days without interruption.
Thanks to its reflective writing power, you will feel less stressed, more at peace with your past, and even physically stronger. Writing is not just an enjoyable activity, it can change your well-being!