Over the weekend, I stumbled upon an article from the Arthritis Foundation about the benefits of expressive writing. The piece explains that working through your feelings of living with chronic illness can help reduce physical and emotional stress, leading to better health days.
“Research has found that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) showed improvements in pain, stiffness and joint mobility after expressive writing about stressful experiences, says Joshua Smyth, PhD, a professor of biobehavioral health and medicine at Pennsylvania State University, author of the 1999 study.” ~ Arthritis Foundation
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My Health Journey
I have to say, I agree with everything discussed in the article. I’ve maintained a personal health blog for the past eight years, and have written publicly about my chronic health issues since they bubbled up in 2001, first with a brush with Erythema Multiforme Major (EMM).
Writing isn’t just a career for me, it’s also my personal outlet to explore ideas, which is very therapeutic. I write for content marketing clients and for myself. Some of the thoughts and ideas get published while others I keep tucked away just for me.
Something to Think About
I think the key takeaway here is to lean into (not avoid or suppress) your feelings, thoughts and experiences if you are dealing with an ongoing health issue. Whether you enjoy writing, journaling, painting, drawing, singing, dancing, yoga, building things, gardening or any other creative outlet, make time to do it often.
Emotional and mental stress left untreated can manifest as pain. The physical relief and mental calm I feel after a therapeutic yoga class is proof enough for me!
Do you have an outlet to help manage stress?
Until next time,
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Note: This blog post was last updated on February 10, 2023.