Friday, December 26, 2014
Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Love to Write
No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.
By writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events, participants were significantly more likely to have fewer illnesses and be less affected by trauma. Participants ultimately spent less time in the hospital, and enjoyed lower blood pressure than their counterparts.
James W. Pennebaker has been conducting research on writing to heal for years at the University of Texas at Austin. He said that expressive writing allows people to take a step back and evaluate their lives. Instead of obsessing unhealthily over an event, they can focus on moving forward. By doing so, stress levels go down and health correspondingly goes up. From long-term health improvements to short-term benefits like sleeping better, it's official: Writers are doing something right.
More details of the study are at: http://mic.com/articles/98348/science-shows-writers-have-a-serious-advantage-over-the-rest-of-us
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