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Writing Could Save Your Life

So I’m obviously a complete and utter liar since I said that I would never remind you about #MicroblogMondays again, but really, if you want to blame someone, blame Loribeth because she is the one who sent me this brilliant article.

If you’re not going to click over and read it, it basically says that people who write, even a small amount, reap health benefits.

No matter the quality of your prose, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits, like long-term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms. In a 2005 study on the emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing, researchers found that just 15 to 20 minutes of writing three to five times over the course of the four-month study was enough to make a difference.

I am guessing when they talk about writing for 15 minutes, they do not mean throwing out flippant Facebook status updates.  They’re talking about a blog post.  Even a microblog post.

One study found that blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to the effect from running or listening to music.

So… yeah… it matters to me that you do this.  Not just because I’m a selfish bastard who now looks forward to Mondays because I know I have a solid block of posts to read (vs. the weekends when my feed reader is bare, bare, bare).  I want you to do this because it could impact your overall health and emotional well-being.

Writing could very well save your life.

Tomorrow marks the fourth #MicroblogMonday, and hopefully, by now, it is becoming a habit. (Because I swear, one day I will stop writing these reminder posts!)  Thank you for participating and giving us a tiny glimpse into your world. Even if you don’t accomplish another post this week, you at least know that you got up one. And you did it before the week really began.

So at some point between Monday morning and Tuesday morning, post a brief update. It can be as short as 1 word (“blech!”) or as long as 8 sentences.  Actually don’t get hung up on the length. Micro just means small. Anything you’d post on Twitter or Facebook, or an image you’d post on Instagram… that’s all this is.

So… see you tomorrow with your mini post.

And in the meantime, do you feel different emotionally on the days you write vs. the days you don’t write?

16 comments

1 loribeth { 09.21.14 at 8:47 am }

I am happy to accept the blame on this one. 😉 Writing for me has always, always been a therapeutic activity. And I vow to show up with a micro-post of some sort tomorrow.

2 Bronwyn { 09.21.14 at 9:32 am }

Oh! I knew it. That probably means it’s officially addictive. But yes, it makes such perfect sense.

Anyway, I’d love to chat but I have to… go.. .write something…

3 Megan { 09.21.14 at 10:45 am }

Looking at my own life, I totally agree with that article. Not only am I able to step back from a situation and analyze it enough to write about it, I also tend to censor myself a little and resolve anger or frustration as I’m writing so that I can come out of it not only writing more positively but thinking more positively as well.

4 sharah { 09.21.14 at 10:50 am }

Microblog Mondays gets me in the habit of writing more too. It gets me overy the whole “I should write something but … shiny!” thing. If I just write a little bit, on schedule, it’s easier to keep going the rest of the week.

5 Jamie { 09.21.14 at 11:38 am }

I enjoyed the article Loibeth shared in her blog this week, too.

6 Dublin Gal { 09.21.14 at 1:59 pm }

That’s cool about the health benefits!

7 Valery Valentina { 09.21.14 at 3:03 pm }

Mhm, now I know why my therapist suggested I started a blog!
I guess I write more when I feel bad, letting it out helps, putting it into words makes it smaller. And yes makes me feel better. I just haven’t tried it when I feel normal, I have a feeling there is less to gain then.

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.21.14 at 4:40 pm }

That may explain, in part, why the year I wrote my book was one of the most contented of my life.

9 Jessica Martin { 09.21.14 at 7:28 pm }

Thanks for the reminder! I’ve been meaning to start doing this but then Tuesday comes around and #tinyblog Tuesday just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

10 Mrs Green Grass { 09.21.14 at 10:31 pm }

I saw this article and another about coping styles and PTSD rates after NICU stays. I firmly credit blogging with keeping me same through IVF and then a 143 day NICU stay with my 25-weeker. Cheap therapy!

11 Mali { 09.22.14 at 12:23 am }

I’m blaming you AND Loribeth. I was going to smugly blog about that article, but I was too slow! It’s good that it has a wider reading – and that we can all feel good about our writing. Because I know sometimes I feel as if it is self-indulgent. But now I know – it is necessary.

12 Wanda Psycho { 09.22.14 at 12:54 am }

Some days I feel like writing, some days I don’t. But overall, I find it a therapeutic activity. If I am in a depressed state, sometimes I can cheer myself a bit by going into other worlds.
I actually like getting reminders that it’s the time of the week for a certain activity. The other members of Team Netherworld and I utilize a lot of writing prompts, so the ones that rise to the top of our link list at http://undeadinthenetherworld.blogspot.com will be the ones that get used most often.

13 D { 09.22.14 at 8:14 am }

Yes!! Finally some good news about a habit of mine (instead of saying it is going to give me cancer or diabetes). I totally believe that what they found is true. I am always in a better mood after blogging. 🙂

14 Keiko { 09.22.14 at 1:52 pm }

In the spirit of 6-word stories, or 1-sentence stories (or even 7-word elevator pitches) – any thought to theming any of these Microblog Mondays?

15 dennasus { 09.22.14 at 5:18 pm }

I don’t feel like writing on most days these days. Mmmh, maybe I should reconsider that, health benefits and all. Seriously, I know (or at least believe to) that writing things down either online/publicially or in my private journal is a good thing for me. And I’ve started doing it more often, at least in the journalling way. Maybe the blogging will follow :-)?

16 Amber { 09.23.14 at 10:44 pm }

Thank you for saving my life!

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