By Eric Baker, Jul 7, 2017- The Ladders
You don’t remember me, but I was in your experiment a year ago. I just wanted to thank you. It changed my life.”
James Pennebaker has had a number of people say this to him over the years.
In the early 80’s he came across a study showing that people who experienced personal traumas but didn’t discuss them were more likely to get sick.
He wondered if just writing about their emotional upheavals could help people recover. And the research he did changed lives.
In the 30 years since, hundreds of studies have documented the effectiveness of expressive writing.
It helped with anxiety, tragedy, heartache . . . It even gave relief to those coping with cancer, heart disease, chronic pain, and AIDS.
People who write about their problems gain a host of benefits including feeling happier, sleeping better, and even getting better grades.