Friday, February 12, 2010

Journal Writing

I have been a faithful journal writer for years, and so I loved what my positive psychology professor wrote:

"Most psychologists believe that writing thoughts and feelings is very therapeutic. Recent studies have shown just that. One study in particular completed a functional MRI on individuals who were depressed and anxious. The MRI’s showed an amazing amount of activity in that neural pathways were being blocked causing confusion, memory loss, and anxiety and depression. The participants were then asked to write for five minutes a day about anything that they wanted. Most used this as a time to unload problems and negative feelings. MRI’s were redone 6 weeks later and the researchers found that most of the participant’s brains were completely normal.

"Why such drastic results? I believe the following. When a person gets physically ill from the flu or food poisoning a purging takes place to rid the body of toxins. The individual vomits, sneezes, coughs etc. If food is ingested before the toxins are completely removed, the food is purged again. The body can’t handle the good while there are still bad things in it. It is the same thing with the brain. We have brain toxins resulting from experiences, messages that we give to ourselves and others have given us, and beliefs accumulated through the years. Writing helps us purge these toxins. When we share our thoughts and feelings with others verbally, many times we aren’t honest because of the body language or facial expressions of the other person. We think, “Oh I shouldn’t say that” or “that’s stupid.” We can be honest on paper.
The paper doesn’t talk back or judge."

Journal writing is something you have to do before you can experience the benefits. I could talk and talk about how much it has done for me, but just try it you'll like it.


yvonne said...

what a powerful post. i'm definitely going to try and journal on a much more regular basis. thanks for sharing this research.

Beth said...

That is amazing!

I have set a goal to write weekly for ten minutes in my journal and I love the process. Now I am enjoying it instead of dreading it.