Reasons to Write: Stress Relief
We lovers of writing know it is a healthy discipline. We may not know why but we feel no need for reason to support our intuition. Writing is good,we like it, end of story. Still, I am always pleased to find evidence to support what my intuition tells me is a good thing. Harvard Health Publications has posted an interesting article titled, Writing About Emotions May Ease Stress and Trauma.
Dr. Pennebaker, psychology chair of the University of Texas has conducted research on the health benefits of expressive writing.
In one early study, Dr. Pennebaker asked 46 healthy college students to write about either personally traumatic life events or trivial topics for 15 minutes on four consecutive days. For six months following the experiment, students who wrote about traumatic events visited the campus health center less often, and used a pain reliever less frequently, than those who wrote about inconsequential matters.
I find that the action of writing itself can free up emotional space. Whether we are pouring emotions into a journal or detailing our day in a letter to a friend, writing is a good thing. You can read the entire article here.