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Does Blogging Make you Healthier?

By July 27, 2008 - 11:17am
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I've been thinking about all of us who post messages, and blog, on this site (as well as on our individual health-related sites), and I started wondering: how does blogging make you healthier?

We've talked about the act of writing, or journaling, as a great way to reinforce positive behaviors, and possibly change negative behaviors by bringing them into perspective. (an example: great tool for weight management is to keep a food diary). And, as far as research goes, I believe James Pennebaker of the University of Texas (my alma mater!) is the leader in health benefits of journaling. (I highly recommend his book, Opening Up).

Another possible way blogging can produce health benefits is that this online community serves as s support group. The Mayo Clinic has some great information about the power of mental health support groups.

What is your motivation for writing, journaling, sharing and/or blogging about health? Do you think it makes you healthier? If so, in what ways?

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On one of my blogs, I have written: "Blogging is sanctioned opining." I'm very opinionated and I blog to stir things up in cyberspace, haha!

July 28, 2008 - 4:07pm
HERWriter Guide

As human beings, we are very visual. We like to see things written down. When we write about our health, or blog about our goals and achievements, we tend to follow through far more than if we're paying mere lip service.

I believe we are much more apt to maintain a healthier lifestyle when we write about it. And it also creates accountability. We'd feel a bit silly if we blogged about our health aspirations to our heart's content and then did nothing about it.

It's well known that keeping a food journal (a kind of blog in itself) is one of the best ways to lose weight. We vastly under-estimate what we eat and how much. By writing it down, we can literally see what we're doing right and where we're going wrong.

And of course, moral support and peer blogging helps too.

So to answer your question - yes! Absolutely we do better with our health when we blog about it!

July 28, 2008 - 1:17pm

Last weekend, I attended a conference where one of the topics was 'Community as a healing force.' Several women with various health and personal issues discussed how readers can be a tremendous source of strength -- as you mentioned in your post.

In turn, members of the community or readers said that the women bloggers were a tremendous source of inspiration.

Despite huge obstacles, the bloggers shared the humor in many situations, very human frustration and many times, grace and appreciation.

A few readers even commented that if they knew the blogger personally, the blogs helped to enrich their face-to-face time because they weren't recalling the various tests, procedures or outcomes of doctors or hospital visits. It was all already 'out there' and they could focus on other aspects of their relationships.

July 27, 2008 - 6:33pm
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