Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blogging is good for you says Scientific American #iba11

Jessica Wapner writes in the June 2008 edition of Scientific American that Blogging--It's Good for You. She postulates straight off that "Self-medication may be the reason the blogosphere has taken off" and that "expressive writing produces many physiological benefits". This is good news for all the bloggers nominated for the Irish Blog Awards - we are making ourselves healthier by the very act of blogging.

Image from the QuickSprout Blog by Neil Patel.
The short article (which is under the "News Scan" section) documents many benefits from blogging - though these are mostly based on the fact that "Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings". Expressive writing, and therefore blogging, can reduce stress,  trigger dopamine release, activate a cluster of neurological pathways, improve sleep and memory, boost your immune cell activity, help AIDS patients, and even speed healing after surgery. Wow!

Here's the science bit which explains why we blog:

"The frontal and temporal lobes, which govern speech—no dedicated writing center is hardwired in the brain—may also figure in. For example, lesions in Wernicke’s area, located in the left temporal lobe, result in excessive speech and loss of language comprehension. People with Wernicke’s aphasia speak in gibberish and often write constantly. In light of these traits, Flaherty (a neuroscientist at Harvard University) speculates that some activity in this area could foster the urge to blog."

It would be wonderful to think that blogging helps our health - the nominees for the Irish Blog Awards will no doubt be reassured by Scientific American that we will have longer and healthier lives compared to those who don't blog. I'm sure that starting blogging at age 47 (as I did) is probably a bit too late to have much of an impact on my health., but I feel a lot better for writing this post :-)).

Just think - Blogging is the elixir of life!

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