Leading experts in the field of expressive writing Dr James Pennebaker and Dr Joshua Smyth have conducted many studies. The results have proven the positive effect of expressive writing on our minds and bodies. Their research captivated the attention of many others specialists, including experts in the field of neuroscience and neuroimaging, who have further confirmed its many benefits.
All of the studies show that writing, even if only for a few minutes a day, may help you to:
We need to bear in mind, however, that there is more to it than just writing to preserve the events of the day or the names of the places we have visited during our holiday. For expressive writing to have a beneficial effect on us, we need to write about our deeply felt emotions and experiences.
“We don’t need to talk to others to tell our untold stories.” […] Translating thoughts into language can be psychologically and physically beneficial. When people write about important events, they begin to organise and understand them. Writing about the thoughts and feelings that are connected with unexpected experiences forces us to bring together their many facets. Once we can distil the complex experiences into more understandable packages, we can begin to move beyond them.”
From ”Opening up by Writing it Down.”
The power of writing truly lies in the act of verbalising our thoughts and feelings. By taking it all out of our minds and putting it onto paper helps us to put a brake on the endless stream of the often repetitive and troubled thoughts. Research has demonstrated that writing about our inner experiences helps us to process them, gain clarity and alleviate stress. It also has a positive effect on our immune system by strengthening it, which leads to improvement of many health conditions such as high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, cancer, Parkinson, Asthma and many others.
According to research, the sharing of our thoughts and experiences with another person can similarly help us. However, it is most likely, that we will edit what we say to avoid being judged, rejected. We will adjust what chose to share to meet social expectations or leave out various aspects of our stories simply because we don’t trust the listener enough. The power of expressive writing is that it can be done at any time, anywhere and in one’s own company.
In addition to all of the benefits mentioned above, expressive writing can allow you to notice and track your behaviour patterns and tendencies. It also makes it possible to go back and trace your improvements and personal growth over time. In his workshops, Darius Lukas turns multiple expressive writing techniques into practice writing quests, exercises, prompts and questions that create a pathway toward greater awareness, insight, and transformation. The only tools you need are a pen and paper, or your phone.
Written by Asha Kic