Writing Your Way to Happiness

I came across this article, Writing Your Way to Happiness¬†from the New York Times and was intrigued by the title. The article discusses multiple studies done showing that expressive writing essentially does wonders for your mood. Most situations were getting out what you were thinking or feeling on paper and experiencing someone else wanting to hear what you have to say. However, one described “rewriting” your narrative and changing how things have gone/will go in the future. This I haven’t tried, but many students did better in school after writing about improving their future. Maybe I will give it a try.

I have always been a very expressive writer, which is a struggle I have in the writing minor or other classes when I try to make things less expressive. I’m wondering if everyone else feels like writing is or can be an expressive, mood-lifting experience or because we are MiW’s it has just become work and something we’re kinda good at.

2 thoughts to “Writing Your Way to Happiness”

  1. To answer your last question, I definitely find writing helpful… I don’t know if it’s always mood “lifting” but it’s definitely helpful. That is, of course, specifically with regards to narrative writing. The more open-ended I can be in what I write, the better it feels to be able to write about it. Sometimes, even if no one else will read it, it’s nice to just type out a dummy post on a random Word document, Tumblr, WordPress, etc.. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s never quite found a way to express him/herself in the face of feelings.

    As far as the re-writing section, I wasn’t entirely sure what they meant by it, but personally I *hate* going back to old writing. It’s like hearing myself on a video/audio recording. It’s weird and I don’t like it. I’d rather just write a new, but similar-themed topic than directly address an old one. But that in itself might be a statement about my ability to self-address…

  2. Hannah, I saw this article and saved it!!!! It took me awhile to take that first step and write down how I was feeling, and it was especially hard at first when whatever mood I was in was uncharacteristic of my usual demeanor. But after that first step, I became hooked. I described scenes in front of me and used language/ tone expressive of whatever mood I was feeling. I find that I write most (and best) when I’m sad or frustrated. These sentiments are generally a result of stress, so when I write about them, I feel as though I’m taking a break from work but also being productive in my own creative way. It’s very liberating. I also started playing around with the idea of writing nonfiction stories for fun, but tweaking them. I did this only a few times, but I thought of many similar storylines (started as nonfiction and turned into fiction) in my head. Quite frankly, writing for fun is generally the only thing that can bring me out of whatever mood I’m stuck in. It doesn’t necessarily make me “happy,” but it helps me accept the way I’m feeling about something and makes me feel as though I’m seeing everything from the outside in, which can really lend clarity to priorities.

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