Think back to the last time you wrote something for yourself. I’m not talking about the last time you wrote a message to your partner, or an email to your boss; I’m talking about the last time you actually wrote with a pen and paper about that something that you care about. For many, it’s often been as long as grade school. Science shows that writing can help support clearer mental function and a deeper look might be worth considering.
Getting Back into the Groove
For many of us, this has been a long time, sometimes even since we’ve left school, if not further. If it’s been this long, it might be worth trying it out again since writing has been proven time and time again to provide you with many health benefits, especially regarding your brain. For many, extra nutrition through unique food preparation or supplements may offer mental support. For others, it’s preferable to keep the addition of new compounds to a minimum. This second approach is what we’re going to discuss today and is something that anyone can get started with quickly and easily from nearly any location!
Increase Your Learning Capabilities
By leaving a computer to the side and picking up a pen and paper, you can actively increase and enhance your ability to learn. This is because you’re putting a lot more effort into what you’re actually writing and using effort and brain power in every word that you write.
You can also enhance your memory using this method just because you’re writing, and your brain is actively sending signals to your hand to produce the words and sentences. This is known as motor memory, and is a way to begin forging a new life pattern by which you may see remarkable benefit. It’s much like building momentum in that once you get things started—once your body and mind understand the routine—you’ll be much more likely to reap the cognitive enhancing effects of writing.
Writing Helps You Appreciate Life
It can be so easy to get caught up with day to day life that we end up missed and being thankful for the little things. Consider the last time you actually stopped and realized you were grateful for something in your life, whether it’s the sound of rain on your window, the smell of a good meal or just being with your favorite people.
One study conducted by the University of California, Davis and Miami found that individuals who wrote once a week in a journal over the course of two months were far more optimistic about life than people that didn’t. Surprisingly, it was also found that people who kept a journal also exercised more!
Writing Benefits Every Part of You in the Long-Term
One study published back in 2005 showed that writing doesn’t just provide you with the benefits listed above in the short term, but rather these effects were even more prominent over the long-term. The study found that through writing expressively, you can improve your mood, reduce your stress levels and positively enhance your overall well-being.
Not only that, but you can also positively change your body physically. Some of these benefits include lower blood pressure, improved liver and lung function and even less averaged time spent in the hospital. All of these benefits are possible just through writing by hand.
Improve Your Sleeping Patterns by Writing
Hand in hand with the benefit above, being grateful and appreciative for things in your life can actually have a dramatically positive effect on your sleeping patterns. According to Psychology Today, even by spending as little as 15 minutes a night writing about your day and what you’re grateful for in it can improve your sleeping patterns tenfold, even if it’s just a list.
Healing Your Feelings through Writing
If you’ve witnessed a traumatic event in your life, writing has been proven to help to speed up your emotional recovery time pro-actively. You can do this by either writing in a book, journal or diary and you’ll be surprised with how honest you can write about your feelings once you find your flow. This is thought to connect us more closely with our own thoughts and emotions and can be used in a wide range of therapeutic circumstances.
Improve Your Work Ethic
Through writing, even by writing as little as 15 minutes a day, does wonder for your productivity. Not only does writing become a lot more enjoyable the more you do it, but it also helps to build your levels of focus, determination and your willingness to achieve, as long as you’re writing down your goals, no matter how small they may be.
Naturally, these benefits will start to positively affect your work life and your productivity levels in your career. Jennifer Swanson, a lifestyle writer for Resumention, shares her experiences, “As you improve your personal writing skills, these skills will start to reflect in your work writing. This includes writing emails, creating resumes, conveying ideas to a team and writing business plans.”
As you can see, writing has so many benefits for your brain, all proven by real case studies; it would be silly not to give it a go for yourself. Of course, as with anything new, it takes time and willpower to develop a habit. However, once you’re there. The possibilities are endless!