A new study has found that simply writing down your feelings can help you deal with and even eliminate stress in your life.
A remarkable new study claims that writing about your feelings can help eliminate stress in your life, or at least help you manage it better. The study, published in Psychophysiology, is the first evidence yet at least on a neural level that expressive writing can help cut back on stress, and there are some fascinating reasons why that is.
It has to do with how your brain manages tasks. When we try to multi-task, instead of focusing on one task at a time, we start doing a task and are simultaneously processing and managing worries about all the other tasks, which builds up and cause stress.
By putting those worries on paper through express writing, it gets them out of your head and frees up real estate in the brain to focus on just one task, which eventually causes a lowering of your stress levels. That way not only are you more efficient at the things you do, you also don’t feel nearly as stressed as before.
“Worrying takes up cognitive resources; it’s kind of like people who struggle with worry are constantly multitasking — they are doing one task and trying to monitor and suppress their worries at the same time,” lead author Hans Schroder, an MSU doctoral student in psychology and a clinical intern at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital, said in a Michigan University statement. “Our findings show that if you get these worries out of your head through expressive writing, those cognitive resources are freed up to work toward the task you’re completing and you become more efficient.”