Writing is something most people give up when they finish high school or college – at least in terms of writing longer pieces outside of memos and grocery lists; however, you may actually want to consider getting back into it (if you ever were), because writing actually poses several positive mental and physical health benefits.
You don’t have to be writing the great American novel to reap the rewards that writing can bring you, either. Writing doesn’t have to consume your life or be a stressful event, and you can do it in your free time.
Best of all, you’ll probably enjoy writing as an adult since you won’t be facing deadlines or the pressure you felt in school. You can write for yourself and on your schedule.
Writing Helps Relieve Stress
Modern life is full of stress for most adults. Work-related stress, family stress and just the general stress of the world can feel like a lot of weight on a person’s shoulders.
Writing on a regular basis can help to relieve some of this stress by helping you get your feelings out on a certain topic. That’s why journaling – a simple written account of what’s going on in your life or in your mind – is and has been popular with teens and adults of all ages for many years.
What you write about is really up to you. Some people choose to write about their deepest feelings or desires to express them; others simply choose to write about the events of their daily life – sort of like a document they can look back on when they get older.
Why Is Relieving Stress Important?
Having too much stress in your life can lead to serious health problems if left unchecked, like high blood pressure, heart problems, hypertension and even respiratory disease.
Chronic stress can also lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain and sleep problems. In addition the health problems associated with stress, your ability to think clearly, make decisions, concentrate and remember important information may also be negatively affected by stress.
If writing in your journal just a few minutes each day could help reduce your stress levels, which could, in turn, help reduce potential physical and mental problems, wouldn’t it be worth your time?
Writing down your feelings and thoughts on a regular basis can also help you get to know yourself better, which can help you better understand your motivations and actions. While you don’t need to think about writing as a form of self-therapy, taking stock of your emotions and actions can help you clarify how you feel in a new way.
Along with improving your general sense of self-awareness, writing can help you better understand the motivations of others by exploring their actions through your writing.
Writing isn’t your career, so try not to stress about how often or how much you write. If you plan to write every single day, but only pick up your journal twice during a week, don’t beat yourself up.
The simple act of writing, especially if you do it by hand, is enough to help you reap its benefits, even if you can’t get to it on a daily basis. Don’t make it a chore – make it a pleasure.
Virginia Cunningham is a health writer for Northwest, active blogger and mom of three. In addition to meditation, she always tries to reserve a few minutes of her day to dedicate to writing and gain clarity on her thoughts.