The Benefits You Miss by not Writing
Writing. We’ve all done it in one shape or another, right? Reports, Dissertations, and the weekly grocery list, a few in the long list of possible mundane forms writing can take. So why invest in writing outside of work or school? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits you may be missing.
Physical and Emotional Benefits
Several studies over the last few years have investigated the effects of expressive writing. Apparently, the physical benefits of writing range from improved liver or lung function to developing your working memory. Writing has been proven to reduce stress levels, and in turn, cascades into additional health benefits. Lowering stress will lead to reduced blood pressure, an improved immune system, elevated mood, and even decreased depressive symptoms. The process of writing can even create a state of mind similar to meditation, creating boosts to your immune system, mental focus, and overall emotional well-being. Studies have shown that writing about an emotional event will eventually allow you to face the trauma, and ultimately move past it.
Writing can enhance the recall of vital information, memories, or dreams. It can hone your skills of observation and concentration, increasingly essential in the present age of technology where distractions abound. Reading, as well as writing, can improve vocabulary and communication skills. Mental organizing of data/projects can benefit from being jotted down, or written out, freeing the mind to process the information. The “use it or lose it” mentality holds ever true for writing. The only way to improve this skill, as with any other, is to practice. You can’t become a great rock star by just staring at the guitar and microphone in your garage.
Writing, by definition, is the act of recording a person’s thoughts or feelings. You don’t have to be a Faulkner or a Hemmingway, but all of us can be writers. Lyrics, short stories, poems, novels, autobiographies, journals, the list goes on and on. There are many avenues in which to express the inner you, don’t feel limited to any particular one. The more you work that “writing muscle,” the stronger it and your imagination will become.
So if you are considering taking up the pen, do it. There are many reasons why you should; from increasing your mental health to blossoming the imagination. Write for yourself if for no one else. Not every work must be publishable to be beneficial. Maybe George R. R. Martin put it best, “Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.”
“Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.” – George R. R. Martin