People Who Write About Positive Emotions Experience Less Stress And Anxiety

Writing in a journal can be a good way to express your thoughts and feelings– you know, let things out. But it turns out whether you choose to write about positive or neutral emotions can make a difference. A new study, published in the British Journal of Healthy Psychology, looked at 71 participants. All were divided into two groups– one instructed to write about the most wonderful experiences of their life for 20 minutes per day for three consecutive days, and the other told to write about a neutral topic, over the same time frame. All participants had their levels of anxiety and stress measured immediately before and after they completed their writing task. It was found those who wrote about positive experiences had a significantly greater decrease in anxiety compare to those who wrote about neutral topics. During the four weeks after the study, participants reported on their physical health, stress and anxiety. It was found stress and anxiety decreased to a significantly greater extent for those who had written about positive experiences, compared with the levels reported before they wrote anything. However, the writing did not improve their physical health issues.