5 Reasons Why You Should Write More Often
by Jusleen Basra
You’d think that a basketball player with a height of 6’5’’ and a mile time of about six and a half minutes would be “healthier” than a NY Times journalist- one who most likely spends 8 hours a day sitting with his bottom glued to an office chair.
But you’d be surprised.
Writing is a habit that can be considered just as healthy as meditating- it is exercise for the brain.
As unfortunate as it is, society’s recent turn towards technology has made writing with paper and pen an art of the past. But while it may be slightly out of fashion, it still has some incredible effects on the brain. Here are five great reasons why you should give writing a bigger role in your life:
You’ll be happier
Writing about yourself regularly- how you feel at any given moment, or what you’re thinking about- is shown to reduce stress levels and improve moods. As Adam Grant, a writer for the NY Times, wrote in an article on happiness, “Jane Dutton and I found that when people doing stressful fundraising jobs kept a journal for a few days about how their work made a difference, they increased their hourly effort by 29% over the next two weeks.”
Furthermore, a study conducted by James Pennebaker shows that writing about difficult experiences decreases absenteeism from work amongst adults, and increases grades amongst students.
Reflecting on your life may seem like a very cliché thing to do, but writing “Dear Diary…” each night just might help you become a happier person.
You’ll speak clearer
Nothing is worse than coming up with a joke you think is absolutely hilarious, sharing it with a group of people, and realizing it sounded better in your head. Writing regularly will allow you to practice pulling your thoughts out of your mind and translating them into words that make sense, so you can avoid unnecessary embarrassing situations! Communication is of paramount importance in day-to-day life, so being able to utilize your inner voice can help you efficiently communicate your thoughts. Whether at work, at school, or at home, being able to share your ideas with others is essential.
You’ll be your own psychologist
If you’re ever having a bad day and don’t know who to talk to, tell your notebook! Studies show that letting your emotions out on paper improves your mood significantly. Writing puts your mind into a natural flow that takes you out of your world for the time being, and puts you in a zone consisting of nothing but yourself and your pen. As social psychologist Susan K. Perry says, “Flow takes you out of yourself and allows you to feel part of something larger,” a feeling that will definitely lift your mood.
You’ll have a cleaner mind
Many people find it difficult to fall asleep after a busy day at work/school because there’s so much on their mind. Writing is a great solution to the busy-brain syndrome since it allows you to store your worries and wishes in a secret place for the night. Having a physical archive for your brain will help calm you down before you go to bed, and just might give you a better night’s sleep as well!
You’ll have a better memory
Aside from our own personal mental health, brain activity throughout the day can be improved by regular writing. Various studies and research facilities have proven that writing by hand allows your brain to retain information more efficiently. The simple act of writing a to-do list in the morning will help you remember what you need to get done throughout the day, just like how hand writing notes in class makes the information stick better than typing them.
Writing is unequivocally essential to everyday life and should not be underestimated. As mentioned earlier, writing is like exercise for the brain- and it’s exercise that anyone can take part in. No matter the race, gender, culture, or ethnicity, any literate person (regardless of their native language) can utilize the skill of writing to their personal advantage. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your favorite pen and scribble away!