Stories unite us. The writing process allows participants to share their inner world with others. When sharing our experience, we can help others to take comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone. The value of meeting in a group and reading out loud gives value to your thoughts and feelings. Others hear what you are writing and you have to be honest.
James Pennebaker, Ph.D. author of Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions has done considerable research on the subject, and found that translating events into language can actually affect brain and immune functions. The subjects he tested had an increase in germ-fighting lymphocytes in their blood and lower stress levels. Writing was found to reduce anxiety and depression, improve grades in college, and aid people in finding jobs. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.
Our Write ON! group began with a bang and continued from there. During each sessions participant shared their “blog posts” with the group. The group responded not only to the writing but to the content as well, encouraging one another to continue their journey to wellness.