Expressive writing can ease the stress brought by anxiety according to a study conducted by Michigan State University. This was a brief topic in the 2014 Dallas Writers Summit. It is but normal that people worry a lot and this can cause stress and other related disorders. However, some people cannot help but overreact to these feelings thus making them stressful when in fact it can be easily managed.
What Does The Field Of Psychoneuroimmunology Study?
James Pennebaker has developed a study about the benefit a person can get by expressive writing. During his research, he gave the test subjects 15 minutes to write the worst things that they have experienced while the other half of the test subjects were to tasked to write just about anything. After six months, he noticed that the first group sees their therapist less often compared to the other group. This study brought psychoneuroimmunology into the light. It showed that expressive writing helps people understand their experiences and at the same time improve their immune system.
After which, Michigan State University started a study, which was backed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to attest that the brain reacts to expressive writing.
Expressive Writing Makes The Mind Work Less
Meanwhile, Hans Schroder studied chronically anxious college students. He gave them a flanker task to test their response time and response accuracy. The first half of the group was given 8 minutes to write their feelings about the task while the other half were tasked to write about their activities the day before.
While writing, the students were attached to electroencephalography to see their speed and accuracy to react. Those who did expressive writing used fewer brain resources. In conclusion, the study has shown that anxious people can use expressive writing to alleviate stress.
Five Minutes Of Expressive Writing A Day Can Help Release Stress
The study shows that expressive writing for at least 5 minutes can free anxious people from all their worries.
In return, they can perform activities of daily living more efficiently. Although past studies were proving that writing down what a person is feeling can help them overcome stress, but this recent study is the first to link expressive writing to neural responses.