Researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that writing about emotional trauma increases your sense of well being:
Researchers asked 49 college students to take two minutes on two consecutive days and write about something they found to be emotionally important. The student saw immediate rise in mood and performed better on standardized measures of physiological well-being.
One of the key points of the study was that the length of time spent writing required to achieve beneficial effects was lower than previously thought.
As with keeping a diary, getting your thoughts down in text can be an aid to happiness as well as helping with your writing ability.
[via Jon Taplin][image from zenera on flickr]
Brain scans suggest that daily writing about your emotions can help you feel better about things; writing by hand is apparently more effective than typing:
The psychologists investigated the effect by inviting volunteers to visit the lab for a brain scan before asking them to write for 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days. Half of the participants wrote about a recent emotional experience, while the other half wrote about a neutral experience.
Those who wrote about an emotional experience showed more activity in part of the brain called the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, which in turn dampened down neural activity linked to strong emotional feelings.
If pouring your heart into dreadful poetry and song lyrics really is an emotionally beneficial outlet, does it then follow that MySpace deserves some sort of award for keeping teenagers from committing suicide? [image by Boa-sorte&Careca]