The Power of Writing
Nowadays, how many of us write a letter to our friends? Or for that matter, how many of us actually take efforts to go pick out a card for someone and post it? Gone are the days of good old snail mail!! With the age of computers and smartphones, the act of putting pen to paper is losing out and is slowly disappearing from our lives.
I remember my childhood days, when just a few days after the school vacations would start and many of us would go visiting relatives in distant towns, we would all start waiting for the postman to come. Hoping each day that he would bring letters for us. Letters that would be sent by friends, relatives, grandparents and cherished by the entire family alike. Those were the days when letters would be written with painstaking efforts taking care to turn out good handwriting and without committing spelling mistakes. Each and every special event of others would be remembered by sending a nice card with a personal note.
Now it is a just short and crisp email or even more shorter SMSes such as "have a grt day" or "happy b'dy :)". Do these short casual messages really mean we care? They do not. After all how long does and email or an SMS stay with you? Eventually these kind of messages get deleted and forgotten, but a card or a letter, even after 15 years bring back the flood of memories associated with that time or event. People who write to others are more fondly remembered while those who do not are more quickly forgotten. These are modern times, people would say, who has time to write? they ask. But in West, more so in some European countries, sending an SMS to wish someone is considered an insult. No matter how busy a person may be, he would still take an effort to go out and buy a card for someone he cares about.
Healing Power of Writing:
A very important and healing aspect of writing is that it can help you lose weight, reduce stress and take control of your health. Researchers are discovering that keeping a record of symptoms can reduce pain and ease serious stress.
An American psychologist, Joshua M. Smyth believes that writing may produce changes in immune or hormonal responses to stress and improve relationships and our capacity to cope with stress. He also found that writing about traumatic experience boosted lung function in asthma patients.
Reasearch has found the following benefits of writing:
Lose Weight: Keeping a detailed food diary has been shown to help people lose weight. Keeping a food diary reveals exactly how much and what type of food is eaten. This information helps created awareness about calorie consumption and fat intake. When you know how much you are eating, it is easy to make changes in your food habits.
Improve Sleep: People with traumatic experiences such as car accidents, mugging incidents etc. and women who had been victims of violence and rape, experience symptoms such as severe headaches, sleep problems and depression. An American university found out that when some of these people started writing about their experiences, they started showing remarkable improvements in their condition. Gradually they begin to report lesser headaches, better sleep patterns and were less depressed.
Reduce Stress: Cancer patients who lacked family support have been found to have low stress they write about their illness.
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