Can Writing Make You Happy?

We have all heard it - "If you are happy you will live a long and enjoyable life". And research supports this, those who are positive live on average four years longer than others. Unfortunately, there are some of us who struggle with being happy.

Just like worry, 50% of happiness is genetic and can't be altered. The good news is that you have 50% to work with. 

Recent research suggests that simply 'thinking' yourself happy is not as effective as first thought because we tend to continually recall the very thing that made us unhappy, thus reinforcing it and working against the happy thoughts.

I have spoken previously about the benefits of smiling so I won't repeat them here except to say if you combine smiling with happy thoughts you have a far greater chance of increasing your happiness. Another option is to write.

Writing provides an intense impact on our brain, more so than just talking. Maintaining a 'positives' diary is one way of using writing to help yourself become much happier.

Some would say that you should write down the thing that made you unhappy so that you can examine that aspect therefore change or avoid it in the future. This may in fact be reinforcing the negatives. Writing down positive things that occur across your day is known to reinforce the positives. Then, reading through the positive list regularly helps to continue that positive reinforcement.

Another option is to write down minute details about an earlier event in your life that made you extremely happy. This has been shown to provide a quick happiness 'fix'. 

Thoughts alone may not help you to become happier, writing these things down will. Mind and body, a thought and an action.