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The ability to notice positive occurrences in one's life and to take the time to describe them and enjoy them enables us to have more fulfilling experiences.
In 1998, a meta-analysis of thirteen studies on expressive writing found a significant overall benefit in physical health and psychological well-being.
Another study showed that people asked to stand back and explore their deepest emotions and thoughts for as little as 15 minutes on three occasions exhibit health improvements.
In 2009, a study showed a significant decrease in psychological distress when participants wrote about how their lives would change if they had an ideal romantic connection.
In a 2011 study, students that wrote expressively about their upcoming exam had higher test scores and lower pre-exam depressive symptoms.
A 2010 oncology nursing forum study showed that women with breast cancer that engaged in a single writing session showed significant improvements in physical and psychological health.
In a 2011 study at the University of Kansas adolescents that wrote about their parents’ cancer had less negative emotions, depression, and anxiety.
In 2007 researchers at UCLA conducted a brain imaging study which revealed that verbalizing our feelings makes our anger and sadness less intense.
Nicknamed "the Bridget Jones effect", brain scan analysis shows that labeling bad feelings can decrease pain by reducing output from emotional centers in the brain.
University of Chicago researchers found that anxious students significantly improved their test scores when first given 10 minutes to write down and describe their feelings.
In 1994, the Academy of Management Journal published a study showing that senior professionals laid off from their jobs get new jobs more quickly after writing about their feelings.
Studies conducted by Dr. James Pennebaker show increase in immune system function when people write about emotionally difficult events or feelings for 20 minutes at a time for 3 to 4 days.
In a study at Georgetown University Medical Center, cancer patients that completed even a single 20 minute writing session reported a better quality of life up to 3 weeks later.
Dr. Pennebaker also found that when study participants wrote about their intimate relationships it was associated with the actual relationships lasting longer.
A 2003 experiment by Emmons and McCullough shows college students who kept weekly gratitude journals: exercised more frequently, felt better about their lives, and were more optimistic.
The same 2003 experiment showed college students who kept weekly gratitude journals: exercised more frequently, felt better about their lives, and were more optimistic.
A 2009 study conducted by Algoe and Haidt found that when recalling situations in which they felt grateful people experienced pleasant muscle relaxation.
An Eastern Washington University study showed that students who practiced grateful thinking or writing showed a positive affect on mood.
A 2010 paper explains that practicing gratitude can have positive effects on social relationships and physical health.
FeelingAware is an easy way to record your feelings from any mobile device or computer. You can also review your feelings as visualized by charts. This enables you to learn from your bad experiences.
Writing about an emotional life event can reduce the number of sick days people report, improve immune function, and decrease anxiety.
A 2006 study at the Center for Health Care Evaluation in Palo Alto found that healthy people that wrote about stressful experiences reduced their health care use.
In 2006, 146 randomized studies of experimental disclosure indicated improvement in depression, subjective well-being, anger, and anxiety.
A Carnegie Mellon University study showed that participants who wrote their deepest feelings about an upcoming exam had a reduction of depressive symptoms.
A study in 2009 with people that had experiences of workplace injustice revealed the several benefits of expressive writing.
A 2006 study showed participants who processed a negative experience through writing reported improved life satisfaction and physical health.
A 2008 study examining the effects of expressive writing in 607 participants after the Madrid train attack on M11 revealed less negative emotions related to the recall of the trauma.
In a 2004 study at Drexel University, outpatient psycho-therapy clients who wrote about their feelings reported greater satisfaction with their therapy and a reduction in depressive symptoms.
A 1994 study on writing about feelings about a traumatic event revealed that the painfulness of the topic decreased and participants felt better about themselves.
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