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Blogging as a Stress Reliever

Posted on January 29, 2019 | No Comments on Blogging as a Stress Reliever

For many, a stress-free lifestyle is simply out of reach. And as technology continues to exponentially increase, more people—from college students to well-established professionals—reach for the keyboard as an outlet for the stress that’s as always-on as the Internet.

Blog nation
You may have recently visited a blog without even knowing it. Search engines Google and Yahoo! are incorporating such pages in search-generated results. Topics that can’t be written to great extent by “official” websites are often deliberated to the heart’s content of a blogger who isn’t under the same constraints as staff writers at other online publications. A best-selling author in New York City and a college paper staff writer in New Delhi have the same potential audience.

If you didn’t already know, “blog” is short for “web-log,” which is a website maintained by an individual or group with regularly updated content primarily through commentary though usually complemented by pictures,video, or other media. Blogs vary by topic—from photoblogs to personal diaries, to gossip outlets and band fan-pages—they are as varied as the people behind them, and all on an interactive platform that sets it apart from traditional websites. There is no official number of blogs as the number increases daily. Creating and setting up an account is simple, easy, and can take as little as 5 minutes through popular blog storage services like Blogger.com or WordPress.com.

This convenience and ease-of-access has spread from your desktop or office space and reached into your pocket. The boom in social networking paved the way for micro-blogging like Twitter, which allows users to give mini, 160-character updates via SMS from their mobile phones. The instantaneousness of the medium breaks from the structured, scheduled mold of traditional media.

And it’s not just your high schooler or tech junkie that takes advantage of these free services. Big name Hollywood stars and pro athletes, among others, have seen the potential in this mass dissemination of information. Ashton Kutcher, known as the “King of Twitter”, with over 4.6 million fans and counting, tweets an average of six times a day, and is quoted as saying, “Twitter is removing filters between celebrities and fans, big media companies and their customers.” Even Oprah Winfrey jumped on the bandwagon and gained 130,000 followers in her first 24 hours as a celebrity “Tweeter.” From politicians to rap artists, from North Dakota to North Korea, Twitter has seen its share of public apologies, wedding announcements, celebrity lunches, and everything else under the sun.

Sharing ideas and collaborating with like-minded people around the world is an exercise in exhibitionism. Many stars have been plucked from obscurity by pure coincidence through a simple blog entry. If you’re unfamiliar with the story behind now singing sensation Charice Pempengco, you might be surprised to find out that a couple of videos on vlogging (video-logging) website YouTube.com were all it took for American daytime talk-show host Ellen Degeneres’ people to contact her, arrange for her flight to Los Angeles, and have her meet and be interviewed by Ellen, thus starting off a chain of events that have launched her into international stardom.

In a less direct way, the varied offerings from the millions of blogs can be of a very literal help to you. Whether you need to change the oil in your vintage car, or if you need to find out how to prepare an ethnic entree for your in-law’s visit, you can find this information online from blogs where other sites would be less specific. Most people include creating step-by-step outlines of DIY (do-it-yourself) projects as an extension of whatever hobbythey have. Generating dialogue on global issues and discussing community concerns are some of the topics easily found on most blogs.

Getting in touch with your inner blog
Gone are the days of writing in diaries or journals where your deepest and darkest secrets would follow you to the grave. Blogging, today, allows for that interaction and feedback you just couldn’t get from the locked notebook tucked under your pillow. We associate communication with consolation; we learn that even as kids. “Blogging fulfills that primal need for sympathy,” said Harvard neurologist Alice Flaherty in a recent Newsweek article. “Writing is an effort of the brain to communicate for comfort…Diaries are a form of that communication, but removed. Blogging gets you closer to that sympathetic audience, and that’s what makes it therapeutic.”

Being able to vent and or confess something to a best friend or to your spouse takes that proverbial “load” off your chest. Processingyour emotions is an important step toward good mental health and blogging allows you to do just that on your own time, according to your schedule. A recent report from The Oncologist (originally reported in the New York Times) noted expressive writing, which involves writing down your deepest thoughts and feelings, may improve the quality of life for cancer patients.

Mental health experts share the same sentiments as well. Psychiatrists are starting to recognize the therapeutic power of blogging, and many have begun incorporating it into patient treatment. Early results from a study in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior even suggest that bloggers might be happier than nonbloggers. Timirose Bustamante, a featured blogger on Tumblr.com says: “I started writing things from personal experience…and things that I learned from it. I started posting things that I could read to myself and be a reaffirmation of hope. And I realized that these experiences were things that other people go through, too. So not only was I able to just let my personal feelings, experiences out without getting too personal, I was helping others as well which is therapeutic.”

The aspect of being able to express the emotions or feelings one would otherwise be uncomfortable revealing face to face is another benefit afforded by this outlet. According to psychologist John Suler, the anonymity of blogging provides another therapeutic boost: “It’s high intimacy with low vulnerability.” Once you click the “publish” button on your post, it’s live and ready and available for the world to see. Knowing we’ve been heard by the person on the receiving end of the rant who listens, absorbs, and validates our opinions, even if they disagree, can make all the difference.

Blog power
The “blogosphere”, as the world of ail things blogs is called, is becoming more and more a part of our daily lives in one way or another. If it’s a part of yours already, then you’ve probably reaped some of the benefits of maintaining your site and are exploring more ways to click your troubles away. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge, then make the most of your bandwidth—a less stressful you is at your fingertips. Reach your arms out and embrace technology, because blogging is here to stay!

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