The Mental Health Benefits of Writing
BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|
Writing is one of the multiple forms of communication that we have and, regardless of the forms that we use, in many cases it helps us express ourselves in society. For this reason, it is important to ask ourselves: What benefits does writing bring to our mental health?
“Scholars generally agree that the earliest form of writing appeared almost 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). Early pictorial signs were gradually substituted by a complex system of characters representing the sounds of Sumerian (the language of Sumer in Southern Mesopotamia) and other languages  .” Complementing, according to Getty  , “the earliest known writing was invented in Mesopotamia around 3400 B.C. in an area called Sumer near the Persian Gulf. The development of the Sumerian script was influenced by local materials: clay for tablets and reeds for styluses (writing tools). At about the same time, the Egyptians were inventing their own form of hieroglyphic writing.
According to The University of Rhode Island, four main types of writing styles exist: persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive.
- Persuasive: The writer is trying to convince the reader of the validity of a certain position or argument.
- Narrative: The purpose of this writing style is to share information in the context of a story.
- Expository: This type of writing is used to explain a concept and share information to a broader audience.
- Descriptive: This type of writing is used to depict imagery to create a clear picture in the mind of the reader.
On the other hand, according to the Grand Canyon University  , “written communication skills are essential for allowing employees to coordinate their work, collaborate with coworkers and respond to clients. However, there are some hidden attributes of a good writer: they are intelligent, credible, they understand professionalism and are organized.”
The University of Arizona  gives us some reasons to improve our writing: Writing has become the #1 way we communicate with others; people judge you based on your writing; you are more likely to get what you want with clear and direct writing; writing is an essential job skill and, writing expresses your thinking skills.”
“The researchers suggest that writing may help improve mental clarity by allowing people to better process information and organize their thoughts. Additionally, writing can be a helpful way to express emotions and relieve stress, which may also contribute to improved mental clarity  .” Other important relations between writing and mental health is mentioned by Harvard Business Review  “over 200 research studies have reported that “emotional writing” can improve people’s physical and emotional health.”
“A certain kind of guided, detailed writing can not only help us process what we’ve been through and assist us as we envision a path forward; it can lower our blood pressure, strengthen our immune systems, and increase our general well-being. Expressive writing can result in a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression; improve our sleep and performance; and bring us greater focus and clarity.”
In conclusion, writing can be a powerful tool for promoting and maintaining good mental health. Whether it is through journaling, creative writing, or simply jotting down one’s thoughts and feelings, the act of writing can help individuals process their emotions, gain new insight, and reduce stress and anxiety.