I started a blog in college because I was obsessed with holistic wellness to the point where all I wanted to do was talk about it. My family and friends were sick of hearing about it, so I took to the Internet to share.
I never knew the result would actually help me be my best self.
Before I get to all of the great benefits of blogging I experienced, there's at least one way blogging can be unhealthy. Be aware that blogging can cause symptoms of "compare and despair." When you get started in the blogging community, it’s easy to compare your beginning to everyone else’s middle. When I started I would compare my little corner or the Internet to famous bloggers with huge archives of posts, and I would feel terrible about myself.
Just like with any other form of social media, blogging often is a method for people to share their highlight reel rather than the entirety of their real life. Keep this in mind, and don’t let it hold you back from being real or getting started. Once you do start, the payoffs are worth it.
So with that in mind, here are seven ways blogging made me healthier:
1. I honed my self-awareness.
Having a blog allows you to be a curator, regardless of your niche; the common thread of your blog is that you've chosen everything featured on it. It has your unique style and taste attached to it. This allows you to see what you like enough to share, and from there it’s easy to see your unique tastes.
2. It gave others a new way to approach me.
Just as you become more self-aware, the people in your life become more aware of your unique interests and personality. It can be more comfortable to share with the Internet what you’re passionate about than it is to do so with your own family or close friends, because you fear their judgment. Since the people in our lives have known us through many iterations, it can be scary to explain the changes we’ve made in our lives fearing they won’t take you seriously.
Having a blog seems to legitimize things and announces to the people who have known you forever, “Look this is what I’m into now, it’s all laid out her. If you want to ask about it you can, but I won’t talk your ear off about it.” The more you are yourself online, the easier it will be for you to be yourself offline.
3. It built my community.
Through blogging I’ve legitimately been able to handpick the coolest tribe of people from all over the world. The coolest thing about blogging is connecting with fellow bloggers in person you met online and feeling like you immediately know each other well because you’ve been following each other’s stories for years. I truly have made some of my best friends this way. I’ve crossed borders to meet them, met their families and been to their weddings.
4. It gave me a place to be therapeutically vulnerable.
Just like with journaling, writing about what you’re going through in real time is extremely therapeutic. I think sharing it with the public takes that to another level; shame can only exist when you keep something a secret, so when you share your feelings of fear and self-doubt, the shame dissolves.
5. It allowed me to serve others through my story.
By being vulnerable with your story online you open the dialogue for others to do the same. You open the door for people to be able to relate to you, and therefore feel less alone. By simply authentically sharing, you're serving a purpose.
6. It made me accountable.
Regardless of how many followers you have, when you share your experience on your blog, you may feel inspired to be the best version of yourself in real life. You're essentially opting to be a public figure and can see it as a responsibility to be the example of what you share.
7. It challenged my creativity.
Like any form of self-expression, blogging gives you the opportunity to keep your content fresh. It gives you an opportunity to share things in unique ways that feel authentic to you.