How Writing Can Make A Positive Impact On Your Mental Health


For many, writing is a way of life, whether part of a career or simply a means of sorting personal thoughts. We utilize it to build a better life for ourselves in various ways, yet its extensive mental health benefits, often unknowingly, lead individuals to happier, more productive lives. This link has been found through multiple writing styles, including expressive journaling, creative writing, or simply jotting down an itinerary of personal goals.

Writing encourages a sense of well-being and helps regulate emotions.

Mental health is significantly impacted when we organize our thoughts by writing them down. The effects of this expressive writing have been documented in a study involving 81 undergraduates who wrote 20 minutes a day for five months. The participants reported a substantial improvement in overall mood and well-being by the end of the project.

Writing is a neutral outlet by which we can open ourselves up fully without fearing the criticism we may receive from people. This lack of social anxiety from writing our thoughts down has the therapeutic benefits of reduced stress and increased happiness.

We understand new perspectives about ourselves through writing.

"There's simply no better way to learn about your thought processes than to write them down." according to Psychology Today. We understand our thought processes more clearly by elaborating on our emotions, which provides personal insight into what causes us to experience these emotions in the first place.

Emotions act as an automated defense mechanism in the face of traumatic experiences. For example, a child who grew up in a strict household of authoritative parents may be highly independent, self-sufficient, academically successful, and well-mannered. Yet, on the other hand, they may struggle with low self-esteem from perceived failures or shortcomings and become dangerously rebellious as a teen and young adult.

The self-awareness of emotions obtained through writing is an effective gateway to emotional healing so we can experience life to the fullest without hindrances from the past.

Writing increases goal success and self-realization

A few moments of daily writing have been shown to help refine personal goals and bring clarity to our thoughts. In addition, research has proven that listing goals significantly increases the success rate of actualizing them in terms of career, health, family, and relationships.

Additionally, dopamine is released when we accomplish personal goals, resulting in increased satisfaction and motivation.

Expressive writing gets us through life's hardships.

Writing is effective at helping us cope with and process stressful situations. For example, a study was conducted with 63 engineers who lost their jobs; a portion of them was tasked with writing about their emotions regarding their recent unemployment. As a result, these participants reported decreased anger over the job loss and had an easier time finding employment than those who weren't tasked with daily writing.

Expressive writing in the face of hardship helps us become self-aware of our emotions, memories, and the people in our lives to process and overcome adverse situations more efficiently.