Feeling down? Stressed from work? Just can't seem to feel well-balanced anymore?
Don't take a pill. Just turn on your computer.
Researchers at Swinburne University in Australia have finally realized what many of us already realized: blogging helps combat depression and stress. Though some have argued that blogs and online journals are wastes of time, studies have shown that writing about life, emotions, and other matters online may have positive impacts.
A survey followed 130 bloggers over an extended period of time. Many of them suffered from self-esteem issues and emotional distress in their beginning days. Within two months, there were noticeable differences. The writers reported feeling happier, more socially integrated, and slightly less stressed. Though it may be similar to a diary, the public aspect is most important in its effect.
People see who else reads their work. They can feel a part of something. They get comments, words of encouragement, and other feedback. They don't have to feel alone and isolated.
It's almost a form of free therapy.
We many not be able to find the full effects of blogging on the human psyche for years to come. But it can't hurt... as long as you keep a few things in mind:
-Be careful what you say about other people. They may stumble across your writing. Only say what you wouldn't mind them knowing.
-Do not discuss work- or school-related things, or at least do so with caution. People have been fired for things mentioned on blogs... and students have had issues with teachers who have stumbled across their writing.
-Illegal activity is still illegal. Just because you mention it in cyberspace doesn't mean someone can't track you down. You can get caught that way.
-Blog for the sake of blogging. Don't write to become famous or please other people. You will find people who share common interests by just being yourself.