We don’t know exactly how writing benefits health and wellbeing, although many research studies have shown that it does. I believe that writing probably benefits different people in different ways, for example:
Providing a ‘flow experience’.
Bringing enjoyment – sometimes during difficult times.
Giving you something different to think about.
Clarifying your thoughts and feelings.
Helping you to learn ‘Mindfulness’ – “Mindful Writing works by writing down your thoughts and feelings as you experience them. This strengthens your sense of NOW. The more you can accept yourself as you are, the more you can change” (Beier & Birkenhead, 2012).
Bringing a sense of calm and decreasing anxiety.
Lifting your mood.
Allowing you to discover or re-discover an interest – not just in writing but through the topics that come out in your writing.
Bringing out topics that inspire meaningful and interesting conversations.
Reminding you of happy times and positive memories.
Giving you a chance to ‘stretch’ yourself.
Letting you re-define yourself as a writer rather than as someone with this or that diagnosis.
Giving you the opportunity to share thoughts with others (e.g., when you write in a group or share writing online).
Encouraging catharsis, i.e., the purging of emotions or relieving of emotional tensions.
Making it easier to ‘open up’ and talk to someone about your problems, e.g., therapist or counsellor.
Beier, A.; Birkenhead, E. (2012). Mindful writing. Retrieved 4 February 2012 from http://www.wordkit.co.uk/our-services/mindful-writing/