Monday, November 17, 2014

Writing is Good for Your Soul & Your Health

For as long as I can remember, I have written. In fact I remember asking how to spell 'tear' for my first poem when I was 5 or so. I wrote through my teen angst years, I wrote during an unhappy marriage and through years of happiness while I finally discovered who I was. Writing just seemed to be a way in which I could take down my thoughts and feelings to create something much bigger than myself. I considered the process healthy and I found it somehow kept me grounded. Now it turns out, others agree that writing can make you feel better and keep you well. Psychologists say that the process of writing through difficult periods can help people feel better, not only mentally but also physically.

Wow! And here I thought my great constitution had something to do with good genes. It turns out that when people wrote about their feelings and concerns prior to surgery and after - they healed faster. Young people who write tend to miss fewer days of school and some studies show that over all wellness is created by the process of writing - lower blood pressure, better liver function, and fewer asthma attacks.

What has been realized is that the process of writing is somewhat similar to that of meditation. In meditation you find yourself in a zone of calm. Writing can also induce these feelings when you enter what is called a flow state. In many disciplines there is what is called flow. Basketball players get into the flow and they score points. Runners get into the flow and they go longer distances. When writers get into the flow they leave many of their cares and worries behind them. This flow takes them away and actually allows them to reduce the stress they feel in their lives - one of the greatest reasons for ill health.

According to experts, even the act of writing before bed can create better health. Writing in a journal about those things you are grateful for improves sleep. And it doesn't even take much to reap the benefits - 15-20 minutes three to five times over 4 months is all it takes to make a difference.

Writing has other benefits:
1. Writers tend to pay more attention to being in the now. They listen better - I know it's just so we can quote the person later, but still.
2. Writing takes focus and concentration. Two things that are more and more difficult to acquire in this fast paced world where we live.
3. It allows us to tell our stories and to tell those of others, preserving history.
4. Writing lets our imagination soar, our creativity to flourish and our words create emotions that can impact others. Writing is good for the soul!

So what is holding you back from sitting down and getting your words on paper?

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook.


Kathleen Moulton said...

Jean, I can attest to this. Writing has been very healing for me. I also think if we know others read what we write, we discover we're not alone, and that's healing, too.

Thank-you for such good information!

Unknown said...

And reading is now regarded as a great stress reliever too. A win-win situation. Thanks Jean, a most interesting post and a change from being told we're killing ourselves by being too sedentary. :-)

Karen Cioffi said...

Jean, what a great article. Didn't realize there were so many benefits to writing. Now, I'm extra glad I'm a writer. :)

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