Interesting article in Scientific American about research suggesting potential benefits of blogging for those coping with serious illness. Journaling as therapy isn’t new. And, it isn’t surprising that connecting with others and being part of a community (an added value of blogging) is healthful.
However, I can’t help but think that for those looking to improve performance for employees in a stressful workplace (healthcare, military, emergency response workers, etc.) blogging may prove a sound instructional strategy. I know I would rather write than take a one-time course about managing stress. Perhaps a blended instructional strategy? (coping with stress knowledge + technical support + blog + ongoing support = instructional strategy for the problem of [retention, cost of mistakes from stress-related lack of sleep, work-life balance, etc., etc.)
We know the use of technology provides learners more flexibility. (It’s kind of hard to get together physically in a group at 3 AM when you can’t sleep. Or connect with those dealing with similar issues who are not physically close by.)
Neuroscientist Alice Flaherty, who studies, among other things, hypergraphia (uncontrollable urge to write) is quoted in the article…
…blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to stimulants like music, running and looking at art.
The research is speculative at this point. Many theories. And I’m certainly speculating here. But there are a lot of blogs built around stressful topics so, in practice, perhaps it does lead to physiological benefits like better sleep habits.