Not too long ago, I wrote a post talking about the benefits of reading fiction on your brain and mental health. Now it turns out that reading isn't the only way to boost your brain health--writing does a pretty good job of things as well! Dr. James Pennebaker, of the University of Texas at Austin, has been conducting research for over 20 years on the effects of writing on mental and emotional health. According to the good doctor, people who write suffer from less emotional turmoil, have more regular immune systems, visit the doctor less, and experience better health. How is this possible? Pennebaker is of the opinion that creative writing helps us to step back and examine our lives, stopping us from obsessing about events. We can move on from traumatic or emotional experiences more easily, which in turn reduces stress levels and helps us to cope with problems more effectively. Writing (even blogging!) helps to flood the body with dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel better and happier. Writing has also been proven to heal traumatic injuries more quickly. A team of researchers in New Zealand found that 76% of people who tried creative writing after a medical biopsy healed within 11 days, while only 42% of those who did not recovered in the same amount of time. Writing can also: Reduce the symptoms and attacks in asthma patients Improve the T-cell count in AIDS patients Boost the mood and improve the quality of life of cancer patients Yep, as if you needed more reasons to love being a writer, science has just delivered them to you! Creative writing is amazing for your health, and you'll find that the time you spend writing every day will do wonders to help you live a long and prosperous life!