Blogging and its Health Benefits

Remember in high school how your English teachers would insist that you blog on a regular basis? Something about improving writing skills… As it turns out, they were right.

My senior year, I was expected to blog at least twice a week. All of my blogs – as well as my peers’ – were to be posted on a private website which could only be viewed by my teacher and classmates. I would get the occasional comment from a friend or two on my work, and it was pretty neat. I was connecting with people. And guess what…my writing skills were actually developing!

What if I told you there were also health benefits to blogging? Well according to an article in the Scientific American, there are! I don’t mean the feel-good, mental health kind of benefits (although those are benefitted as well). I’m talking about benefits towards your physical well-being. “Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery,” (Wapner 2008).

How can this be? It all has to do with the placebo effect, which is when a beneficial effect comes about due to a patient’s belief in a treatment.  Just as complaining seems to ease pain and relax us mentally and many time physically, blogging might work in the same way. We, as social creatures, depend on communication and feedback. When we socialize and get the feedback we desire, our mind relaxes, and this relaxation translates into the benefit of physical wellbeing.  Even some doctors are catching on to this and are currently trying to implement blogging before cancer therapies.  And get this: these cancer patients are responding positively to its effects. Go figure!

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