Science Proves It. You Can Write Your Way to Happiness

JMLS Deans ReportYou can write your way to happiness!

I love the New York Times. Tara Parker-Pope  wrote a terrific article about how studies at universities across the country are looking at how writing has helped people beat all kinds of troubles. She writes in her article of January 19, 2015,”Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.”
Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.”

Not only that but studies show that writing, in essence not only thinking about how you’d like things to be different, but actually sitting down and writing a new narrative can help us stay in school, engage in life-changing habits like exercise. Why does this work? It seems that in part, when we write we slow down and get to plow through the layers of story we have, the resistance to doing things, so we can see the real story. For example, people often say they don’t have time for certain types of self-care like exercise or meditation but when they write about it, they often make surprising discoveries. They might see that what’s really happening is they’ve been using various excuses but the truth is they’re not caring enough about their own care, or they don’t really like exercise and so forth.

When we discover who we really are through writing, we can gain insights that allow us to make the sort of positive changes that lead to greater happiness. Some studies show that even 15 minutes of writing a day can lead to significant changes in our happiness. This is one of the reasons Calm Chicago offers classes in this kind of writing. Why not sign up for one of our classes right now?


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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