Journalling is recognized as a useful gizmo in managing mental state. Online blogging offers how to urge many of the identical benefits by employing a medium that will be highly interactive.
Blogging has exploded in popularity in recent years. The favored blogging platform WordPress reports that in June 2019 that it’s 20 billion pages, with 70 million new blogposts and 409 million viewers every month.
Far of this was done 10 or more years ago when blogging was still a comparatively new phenomenon as limited research has been done on the potential mental state benefits of blogging. Given the rapid changes within the online environment, research like this 2008 paper within the American Journal of Psychotherapy on the therapeutic benefits of blogging on MySpace reads as rather outdated now.
Interaction with others
The most frequent theme that emerged was a way of community and interconnectedness, which was mentioned by almost half respondents. One blogger wrote: ‘I would write irrespective of whether I shared it publicly or not, I always have, but the interaction means the planet to me.’ This sense of community might not be accessible in bloggers’ everyday lives, and it provides a chance for people with mental diseases to be a part of an in-group where they don’t feel stigmatized.
Almost one-third of bloggers, like Madame Fuechsli, identified the power to attach with people they may relate to and/or learn from due to similar experiences. Joined blogger shares: ‘Being able to connect and see others bear similar things is additionally so helpful because it can facilitate your try new approaches to helping your psychological state.’ That connection helped with feeling less alone. This is often further illustrated mutually blogger wrote: ‘I’m not alone after I blog. I feel a connection, a way of community that my life lacks.’
It was also important for bloggers to feel heard, accepted, and validated, and also to induce feedback and support from others. One person wrote: ‘It helps me feel heard, as if my voice matters; especially since, sometimes in my family, that’s not the case.’ Reading other bloggers’ stories was also helpful, as ‘others are here and have a good deal of experience and insight to supply.’
As identified by eight bloggers, being able to vent and release thoughts and feelings was the foremost common theme. This allowed for a way of catharsis. One blogger wrote: ‘It seems like a release, the simplest way of getting thoughts and feelings move into the simplest way that doesn’t burden my nearest and dearest.
Another major theme was a greater easy expression in writing than in spoken words. As one blogger shares, ‘I probably wouldn’t be able to say verbally so I can put how I’m feeling into words.’ during this process, bloggers identified the act of writing as the simplest way to higher recognize, understand, and process their own thoughts and feelings, with new ways of understanding. One blogger wrote that expressing things in blog form ‘sharpens your perspective and helps you to determine your situation in an exceedingly balanced light.’ Another shared that ‘the process of writing actually clarifies my feelings, which is very important as I can’t always recognize my very own feelings.’
Several bloggers described blogging as a type of therapy. ‘Blogging worked and continues to, five years later as a sort of therapy, and therefore the good thing is, it doesn’t include a roster,’ share another blogger. To share thoughts and feelings more easily with a therapist, blogposts could even be useful as a tool.
Several responses touched on the power to possess a separate space from ‘real life’, where bloggers could truly be themselves and express themselves freely.
Some respondents added that they were able to share things that they hid from others ‘in real life’ for fear of upsetting others. One wrote: ‘Here I can pour out my heart… I still try and hide what’s happening to me from [my family] additionally as I can, so as to not upset them… I’d be wrong. They know I blog, but I refuse to provide them the link to read.’
Time spent blogging
Another theme was having the ability to spend time in an exceedingly positive, constructive way that resulted in a sense of accomplishment. This point spent blogging could function as a distraction or a way of escape. ‘It also holds me accountable, and offers me something to do/look forward to.’ One blogger shares: ‘For me, blogging may be a great distraction technique when I’m having negative thoughts.’
While blogging isn’t a tool I’ve previously recommended to my very own clients as a psychological state nurse, moving forward this can be certainly something worth considering. Given what proportion further there’s to travel within the fight against stigma, a chance to attach with a community of peers could be a powerful thing.