Writing can bring healing and increase the happiness of ourselves and others. It has been shown as an effective tool we can use to improve our happiness.

Writing makes you happier

A gratitude journal can increase happiness, improve our overall health, and better define our purpose by making the good in our lives more noticeable to us. We begin to look for and even anticipate the positive that is taking place around us.

Writing can also help us be reminded of the difference we make in the lives of others. It can help us to refocus on our purpose.

Writing helps us to think and communicate more effectively

Writing can improve our emotional intelligence (the ability to identify our own emotions and the emotions of others, and then to use this information to help guide our thinking and behavior) as well as our learning in both math and science.

Writing allows us to put our ideas down on paper and to process our thoughts. What may have sounded like a good idea in your head may look differently to you after it’s been written out.

Writing helps us to stay mentally alert as we age. It’s “exercise” for our brains.

Writing closes out your “mental tabs”

There are times we feel mentally overloaded — there’s just too much going on inside our minds. It’s been described as having too many Internet tabs open at once. You could also think of it as having too many plates spinning at the same time. It can paralyze our ability to think and to act.

Writing helps us take our abstract thoughts and make those thoughts concrete. It creates the space we need in our minds. When you have too many things on your “to do” list, write out what’s coming to your mind. This process helps us to see and to determine what’s important and what can wait.

Writing can promote the happiness of others

“Legacy Blessing” – Write a blessing for someone that will promote the recipient’s happiness, well-being, and prosperity.  Take a little time to affirm the gifts and talents of someone else. You can provide support and encouragement for where they are in their own lives. Let them know the value and meaning they bring to your life and to your work. This writing can be used in both your personal and your work relationships.

“Legacy of Gratitude and Joy” – Write a statement expressing gratitude and joy for a specific person. In your writing, describe how you feel about this person. Maybe you want to share a memory that brought you joy or where you felt supported and encouraged. Recall how you felt, what you thought, what you said, what others said to you, who was with you, and where you were.

Here’s the challenge… after you write, call this person and share what you wrote with them. The science behind this experience shows that happiness increases not only for you as the writer, but for the person you are writing to. This effect is felt the strongest by those of us who were the most unhappy before we began to write.

This quick seven-minute video from Soul Pancake (which has more than 3.5 million views) describes it well:

 

References:

Ciotti, G. (2014, August 4). How writing makes you happier, smarter, and more persuasive. Retrieved from psychologytoday.com/blog/habits-not-hacks/201408/how-writing-makes-you-happier-smarter-and-more-persuasive

Evans, J. F. (2014, March 9). Legacy writing. Retrieved from psychologytoday.com/blog/write-yourself-well/201403/legacy-writing

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© Christy M. Secor, 2015 – 2016. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without the express prior written permission of the copyright holder. For permission, contact bouncebackproject.org/contact