Creative writing, scientific research shows, is good for your health. That it is not harmful will not surprise anyone, because apart from the fact that you usually do it while sitting and we have been hearing all the time that sitting is the new smoking, writing looks harmless. You hardly hear anyone even about mouse arms. But why is writing healthy?
The first association you’ll likely have when you hear the words “write” and “healthy” in one sentence is that it’s about your mental health. That writing helps to process and sort things out. That’s right. In recent decades, studies have been conducted all over the world with all kinds of test subjects. As it goes, there is a group of people who will write intensively and there is a group that does not, and they are then followed for a while to see if there are differences.
To name a few effects that writing had on the first group: pain symptoms decreased, fatigue symptoms, depression, asthmatic symptoms all decreased, relationships improved, addictions were easier to combat, and the writers went to the doctor less often. Which makes sense if all those complaints were less common.
REFLECT AND ANALYZE
Now it is not the case that the same improvements can be observed in all people who are going to write. Numerous factors play a role, both in the field of the writing itself and concerning the subjects themselves (origin, country, culture, society, even gender: women benefit more than men.) But on the whole it was found that, to put it mildly, positive effects of regular writing are substantially more common than none or negative effects. The main reason why writing is healthy is because writers are concerned with thinking about their lives. They reflect and analyze so you should find a wellness solutions that help to process and accept negative events and experiences. As a result, stress decreases.
WRITING FOR YOUR LIFE STORY
Writing down unpleasant or disturbing memories allows you to put them in a broader context: your life story. People who don’t care about it seem to miss out on the rewards of becoming a novelist. The terms and ideas do not stick on paper, but continue to buzz about in the brain.
Emotions are processed in the emotional centers of our brain, especially the almond core. Nowadays we can measure everything in the brain. For example, researchers saw that when subjects viewed photos of people who radiated a negative emotion (anger, fear, sadness) and the subject named that emotion, there was less activity in the almond core. If they do not identify that emotion, the almond core reacts much more strongly to the emotions shown. So the use of words is a kind of lightning rod that neutralizes the effect. In other words: those who name their feelings have better control of the accompanying emotions. Whoever writes them down has a greater chance of faster and better processing. As a result, a stronger immune system and better health.