Beautiful writing isn’t about the words we use, it’s about the emotions we evoke – Katie Ganshert
For Katie, an author of several novels and works of short fiction, life is a journey we’re all travelling, and like any intriguing adventure, it’s filled with valleys and peaks, detours and shortcuts, highways and jaw-dropping scenery. Her happiness comes from the keys of her computer and her total mental health depends on it like it is for most of us who cherish writing.
To say the past year has been a difficult one for people is somewhat an understatement. But, despite the colossal devastation and the resulting decline in mental health, children or adults who took to writing were perhaps the happiest beings in the world.
Writing has powerful mental health benefits that promote happiness and well-being, creative thinking, language development and memory building. You don’t have to be Jeffrey Archer, Ruskin Bond or Khushwant Singh to consider yourself as a writer. Whether you are a scribbler, a diarist, a blogger, a would-be short story writer, or simply jotting down personal future plans, all have proven links to happiness according to research. Find out how writing can help you lead a happier life.
1. Writing promotes well-being and helps express emotions fluidly
Simply writing for the sake of opening up your thoughts and jotting them down on a page has huge therapeutic benefits that include an increased feeling of happiness and reduced stress. A recent study examined the effects of writing in a sample group of 81 undergraduates. The students wrote for 20 minutes each day for four consecutive days on topics such as traumatic experiences in life and future plans. By the end, the project revealed a significant increase in well-being and improved mood among participants.
So, try to use creative writing as a tool to express your positive thoughts.
2. Writing may lead to increased gratitude
According to a study, people who reflect on the good things in their life once a week by writing them down were found to be more positive and motivated about their current situation and their future. It is interesting to note that writing about the good things in life can have such an impact, perhaps because it forces you to really look at why those things make you so happy.
Furthermore, according to Psychology Today, writing leads to better learning because we tend to retain and recall information better when we write. It also keeps our thinking sharper even as we age because writing, much like a physical exercise, keeps our brain cells active.
3. Builds creativity and imagination
Children are particularly gifted with an incredible imagination and they demonstrate an extraordinary ability at storytelling. Research shows that introducing kids to creative writing not only gives them an outlet for that creativity, it boosts their English language, communication and persuasion skills, and helps in self-expression. If you're looking for ideas on how to help your child grow with creative writing, look up for a British Council course specially designed by English experts for children aged 11-14 years. The online course will help children build their creative writing skills by learning the key elements of short story writing and storytelling.