With more and more people feeling the stresses of life and actually vocalising their struggles, more attention has been applied to mental health and wellbeing these past few years. We’ve all had an experience with anxiety at some point in our lives and I personally have allowed myself to become aware recently of the state of my mental health and how things affect me in everyday life. Just accepting the effects of issues such as anxiety is hard enough, dealing with them is another thing entirely.
Now I’m certainly not claiming to be a professional or expert in mental health- far from it. But I’ve started to realise how much blogging has acted as a sort of therapeutic activity that has acted as an outlet for any issues I’ve had or been having. And while there have been many studies over time that have depicted the benefits of blogging in regards to mental health, and while these studies hold merit, this post is more focused on my own experience with blogging rather than statistics of others.
Express feelings in a clean way
Blogging is a healthy way of allowing you to express yourself and sort through any muddled thoughts or troubling emotions. It’s a creative outlet that offers a release, one that I regularly utilise. You don’t necessarily have to write about what it is that is troubling you, it can be about anything you are interested in or have an opinion on, the act of writing down your thoughts is essentially the same as talking to someone face to face- only without the social anxiety.
To blog is also a form of escapism from the real world and the stresses and fears that come attached with it. It works as a digital diary, evolved from the days where journals were kept under plastic lock and key (albeit flimsy security measures). There is a sense of acceptance that comes from sharing your views and receiving support on your posts, I mean you can’t deny the rush you get after someone comments on your post. It’s addictive!
Continuing from my above point, there is an accomplished feeling you get once you hit publish that is therapeutic in itself. I myself feel proud knowing I’ve completed a piece and released it into the online world, because even that takes some form of confidence to do. It’s all about knowing you’ve put the work in and written about something you enjoy, to then being willing to release it for others to read. For many this is a hard thing to do so you should feel proud once it’s done!
As we all know the internet comes with no limitations which can be both a good and bad thing. You can literally discuss anything you want and sate your endless curiosity about anything and everything. For blogging this is good as nothing is off limits, whatever is bothering you can be discussed and read throughout the blogging community, because it’s most likely that whatever you are going through someone else is too so you aren’t alone.
Similarly to what I’ve mentioned before, the act of blogging allows you to express any strong opinions and create new original content as you see fit. It can be a way to purge yourself of any negative or stressful emotions you may have. Typing out all your thoughts and organising them onto a post is just the beginning, once you press publish you gain this sense of calm your mind needs, almost as though you are releasing the emotions from your head. For me, it’s all about the sense of peace I get after sharing my thoughts with others- before blogging I never had any of this.
The community surrounding blogging is incredible, there are so many bloggers out there which means that you can connect to others with similar feelings or those who offer emotional support. It allows you to interact with those that have similar interests and even issues that you can talk about without any pressure.
At first it’s a strange feeling having people you don’t know reach out with their own stories or to comment on your posts, but it quickly becomes a feeling that lightens you as you realise how many people generously offer advice and support in all forms. In doing so, blogging widens your support network where you don’t have to know the other person personally to establish a relationship. Sometimes it’s the ones we know the least who offer the most encouragement.
Allows you to focus
I think for me, another thing blogging does is it helps narrow your thoughts and dissect any feelings. It helps me understand things I’m unsure about and sometimes even why I’m so unsure about them. Personally blogging has helped me massively with my confidence in writing and sharing content with others, since university I hadn’t really had a reason to write like I wanted to or a platform to share my writing on and now I do.
Plus I was always so anxious for others to read my work, I’d always cover it for fear of judgement or any negative opinion. But after experiencing how positive the response is to blogging, I have a lot more faith in myself and what I can do.
One way to look at it is that blogging takes away the fear of immediate judgement as the person reading your writing is not likely to know you personally. So you can feel free to fully express your true opinions and decide your own path of creativity without any attachments you feel you may have. This was a big one for me, as if you follow me on Twitter you know for the first 3 months my profile picture was a clipart image instead of a personal one. It took me awhile to feel comfortable enough to take ownership of my blog and what I’m doing for fear of judgment. And although that fear hasn’t gone completely I feel like I’ve grown and am proud of what I do as a blogger.
To me this is one of the main things blogging does, it allows you to become entirely yourself as an individual without any outside pressure. I mean this is after all, your own digital space.
How has blogging helped you? I’d love to hear about your experience, let me know in the comments!