Writing – for health and happiness?
Decades of research have shown that writing down your emotions has concrete health benefits – even helping wounds heal. But as more and more people publish their intimate feelings online, could they be doing themselves more harm than good?
High-profile coverage of cyberbullying might make sharing your deepest emotions online sound like a bad idea, but when it comes to the risks and benefits of writing online, advice is mixed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, suggests questions about social media are included in visits to the doctor, a move prompted by worries about cyberbullying, internet addiction and sleep deprivation.
On the other hand, blogging about health problems has been shown to improve feelings of social support, especially when that support is lacking from family and friends.
Exploring the connection between well-being and writing down your emotions goes back decades.
In 1986, long before the ubiquity of blogs and social media, Prof James W. Pennebaker published seminal research showing expressive writing could make people healthier.
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