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  • Writer's pictureSandra Zecevic

Don’t Cry Out Loud….but you might want to try writing about it!

Writing about stressful, emotional or traumatic events for 15-20 minutes on 3-5 occasions (preferably on consecutive days) has been found to produce significant benefits to physical and psychological health. Research studies over the past 25 years suggest that Expressive Writing has positive long-term consequences whether you are struggling with a mental health condition or not. Pennebaker and Beall (1986) conducted a study on college students where one group was required to write on a neutral topic (such as their plans for the day) and the second group was directed to write about an emotionally challenging topic for 15-20 minutes on 3-5 occasions. Short-term the second group expressed higher distress levels immediately after the writing exercise; however, months later at follow-up the health benefits were considerably higher for this group: fewer health-related visits to the hospital or GP, lower blood pressure, improved liver and lung function, greater sense of wellbeing, higher mood levels and fewer intrusive thoughts and avoidance behaviours. Check out the Royal College of Psychiatrists website for more information on the Basic Writing Paradigm – you might find this exercise even helps you save on therapy bills thereby adding another yet another benefit…..

(did I just shoot myself in the foot?) RCP:

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