Believe it or not, just 15 to 20 minutes of writing once a month is enough to make you physically and mentally strong. A study on the emotional and physical health benefits of express writing has found that there is a considerable amount of improvement in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms in people who love to write. Those who write about traumatic, stressful or emotional events spend less time in the hospital, have lower blood pressure and better liver functionality. According to researchers, writing about distressing events helps people make sense of the events and therefore reduce distress.
Another study shares some more surprising findings. Writers’ wounds heal faster than the rest of us! In 2013, researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. 76% of the group that wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, 3 days in a row, 2 weeks before the biopsy had fully healed; 58% of the control group had not recovered.
One study found that blogging triggers dopamine release and has the same emotional and physical effect that running or listening to music has.
There is even more astonishing news. Studies have shown that writers who suffer from asthma have fewer attacks than those who don’t write, AIDS patients who write have higher T-cell counts and cancer patients who write experience an improved quality of life.
“When people are given the opportunity to write about emotional upheavals, they often experience improved health. They go to the doctor less and they have changes in immune function,” believes James W. Pennebaker, researcher at the University of Texas.
According to him, expressive writing allows people to take a step back and evaluate their lives. When they focus on moving forward, stress levels go down and health correspondingly goes up.