If you’re feeling upset, worried, or just unhappy; this writing exercise is proven to make you feel better.
“Expressive Writing” is a technique that has been heavily studied for the past 30 years.
Different from just journaling, expressive writing is an exercise that focuses on a particular event, thought, or challenge in your life.
To practice the technique, you identify something that is bothering you. Then, reflecting as honestly and deeply as possible, you write about it for 15-20 minutes. After, you repeat the process for at least 3 days in a row.
Dr. Pennebaker, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin pioneered the scientific study of expressive writing as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma back in the 1980s.
Dr. Pennebaker says that hundreds of studies over several decades have looked at the potential benefits of expressive writing, including helping people with illnesses such as cancer, PTSD, depression, asthma, and arthritis.
An analysis of these studies found that the practice is very effective. The benefits include a boost in mental health, a stronger immune system, reduced inflammation, reduced chronic pain, and improved sleep and memory.
Dr. Pennebaker has started an organization that offers writing prompts and further instruction to use expressive writing.
Click here to learn more about expressive writing!