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What do exercise, veggies, and writing have in common?

It turns out that they’re all good for you.

Photo Credit: ilovebutter via Compfight cc

Part of the mission that drives The Daily Post is to provide encouragement and inspiration to people who want to be more active writers, bloggers, and creators. We often provide tips on how to write or prompts on what to write, but today, let’s talk about why to write.

Science stands firmly in support of what many of us intuitively know: writing is good for you.

Studies have shown that just the act of putting words together to express yourself leads to several physical and mental health benefits, including:

  • Improved mood and sense of well-being
  • Decreased stress and anxiety levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better memory and sleep

Writing has been shown to boost immune responses, speed post-surgical healing, and help cancer patients cope with their diagnosis and treatment. Writing has also been linked to improvements in managing chronic conditions such as asthma and arthritis.

A note about privacy: If you prefer to keep your thoughts private, you can use a journal or you can just set your blog to be private. Private blogs are viewable only by you, unless you choose to share your writing with friends or family by inviting them to your private blog.

The best part is that you only need a pencil and paper or a computer and keyboard to reap all of these benefits. Whether you opt for a journal or you take to your blog to express yourself, it’s the act of writing, not the medium you choose, that provides the benefit. Ultimately, the healing and restorative power of writing lies in the mind of the writer.

The benefits of blogging

That said, blogging offers some interesting benefits not present with journaling. Bloggers benefit from the community they build or just by knowing that there are readers out there commiserating or celebrating with them. Blogging, unlike that bedside journal, may also trigger a dopamine release.

Writing, particularly expressive writing, has proven to be very effective in helping people cope with stressful events, serious health conditions, or significant changes in their lives. They often find solace in blogging by connecting with others in similar situations.

The benefits of blogging aren’t necessarily tied to making sense of stressful or traumatic events; you can experience the same benefits by using writing to chronicle positive things, too, from moments of great joy to simple reasons to be grateful.

Need help getting started?

If you’re looking for a way to get started with a healthy writing habit, check out our daily writing prompts or download our free ebook, 365 Days of Writing Prompts. You might also find some inspiration here, or by following topics of interest in the Reader.

At minimum, writing helps you to put your thoughts in order and clarify your feelings, which is a healthy exercise in itself. Perfect prose isn’t required, so don’t let that get in the way of things. Just spending twenty minutes or so writing on a regular basis is enough to write your way to a happier, healthier you.

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  1. See this all the time trawling through favourite blogs and then coming across one not previously seen, finding some more. Rewrite your title “…exercise, veggies, writing and blogging… ” Blogging introduces a whole new set of ways to share and sharing is definitely good for you. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I started blogging over a year ago, I had no idea what I was doing and was totally unfamiliar with WordPress. My blog ‘outloudkaren.wordpress.com, has shown me that not only can I write, but it’s the easiest way for me to express myself, and express the feelings of that ‘injured child’. I also found that I could write poetry!? What a surprise.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this…It seems that I naturally turn to writing during difficult times. Often without thinking about it. I feel great while writing and then once it’s posted I let it be.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so true… 🙂

    Writing and blogging really helps to reduce our stress levels, I felt it many a times 🙂

    As far as my photography in concerned, I haven’t received this kind of encouragement and appreciation anywhere else, that really made me more responsible and in an year’s time I could feel the change in quality.

    I really owe a lot to the amazing people here in this wordpress community.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This past year for me has been one of transition, unexpected and sorrow-filled change, and also the joy of improving my writing in the midst of it all. Blogging has given me focus to get my thoughts formed in creative and often fun ways.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This… this right here is THE gospel. Very true. Writing has been such a healer for me. I couldn’t agree more. My very own version of Meth. Thanks for shedding light on this… for reminding us of what we somehow knew but couldn’t remember.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha that’s actually really funny. I can relate. But I am currently along a bicycle ride across the U.S, left from L.A., in Phoenix, and I could use some supporters. If you are interested check me out. I have plenty to write about. Thank you. I will check yours out too 😉

      Like

      1. To be honest, intuition. Coupled with what you wrote about biking… I thought it rather interesting. Then you asked for support, and I wanted to give mine.

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  7. I really appreciate this informative and actually, very encouraging article. I am currently riding my bicycle from L.A. to …. hopefully the East coast, but I am currently in Phoenix. I have started blogging to improve my typing and help preserve my writings along the way. I would love to publish a book about the experience, an almost “On The Road Again-ish Revival thing”. Anyway, I appreciate the read like I said, and I could use some critics and supporters for my blog as well. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you found my post helpful, Nick! Since you mentioned writing a book, this guide might be something to take a look at.

      You may want to start following other bloggers who write about related topics – leave a few sincere comments on their posts, and odds are, they’ll do the same for yours.

      Best wishes on your blogging and biking!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for replying, and I will probably and continue to follow your advice haha. I have never spent as much time on a computer as I have in the last 2 days. I guess I’ll get better at this now like I am at riding a bike ;).

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  8. As a biologist, I can say the writing cannot solve all problems and be resurrective in every sense, but it’s obvious that we enjoy positive feedback.
    Sometimes the act of writing can cause high blood pressure and increase stress, this is when we literally write under the pressure or when we relive our thoughts and emotions or just wander in ecstasy of art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Sometimes the act of writing can cause high blood pressure and increase stress”

      This is true, particularly in the case of using expressive writing to write about something painful or traumatic, but in that case, the key is to focus on not just rehashing the issue, but making sense of it and how it affects you, so the nature of how you write about it changes over time.

      Deadlines, on the other hand, I think will always have a stress element. 🙂

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      1. The fact that something artistic came as a result of a personal struggle is wonderful because I believe it is impossible to write if you are completely “ill” (physically and/or psychically).

        In my case, stress is increased due to a necessity for progression, there is tendency to write every time better and to set new standards for the next piece.

        I also believe the things we are talking about can unveil the myth of unmistakable writer who always creates super easy and that is present among non-writers.

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  9. This is very interesting. I had not thought of it this way but I have felt it. Anything that we know is enjoyable to us will create a release of dopamine when we even think about it.

    Getting closer to it in seeing it or performing the activity , further increases the dopamine in our bodies.

    This mind body interaction has been proven in studies to have a healing effect and causes a reduction in anxiety.

    Thank you for the thoughts. Blogging is a special thing. We are blessed to be in the generation that has it.

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    1. Hi bethfinke! I’ll be happy to share some links to the studies. I’ll either post them in a comment or edit the article to reference a few of them. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  10. I wonder is there is difference in the benefits you receive from writing depending on whether you write with a pen and paper or if you type away? I’ve tried keeping a written diary before and the most I’ve managed is 6 months. Fingers crossed this one will last a little longer 🙂

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    1. Hey there! Most of the studies I looked at didn’t distinguish between digital versus paper, but the few that did mentioned the dopamine release from blogging. There were also a few studies that considered specifically the impact of having your writing available publicly for other people to read and the power of building a support community through comments and such on blogs.

      Most studies indicated that the value in writing was sifting and sorting your thoughts out, not so much the manner in which you do it. 🙂

      I blog and use a journal – that’s always an option. 🙂

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      1. I definitely agree with the confidence build through a support network. I only started my blog yesterday and have been looking around at other blogs which interest me, putting a few comments and liking articals. I already feel like I’m becoming part of the community and this is encouraging me to write more. More dopamine, happier me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so accurate! I started blogging in October and I must be honest I had a blog in the past however, I was not in touch with it! Now that I am using my blog as a positive outlet for all my feelings… I love the community I stumbled upon! Blogging has been a healthy decision in my life! It picked me up out of a wreckage. Thank you WordPress, Daily Post, Prompts & the awesome bloggers I have met in the past month or so! I feel happy & optimistic! best of all motivated! My life has become enriched with friends and people I can truly relate to!

    Like