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Scientist Finds Unexpected Benefits Only People Who Love To Write Experience

Scientist Finds Unexpected Benefits Only People Who Love To Write Experience

If you’re the type of person who turns to writing more often than most people, you understand how relieving, clarifying and enriching it can be. If you write regularly for personal objectives, you may find yourself getting anxious in the middle of the day, because you’re still at work and can’t wait to get home so you can keep writing! Ideas may float throughout your head on a constant basis, and it might be difficult just to keep track of them all. You love to write and enjoy it on a deep level simply for the act itself. What you may not have been aware of, though, is that there are serious medical benefits to writing.

New Zealand researchers conducted a biopsy-related study in 2013 on 49 healthy seniors, aged 64 to 97. The researchers had the control group write as factually as possible about daily activities or the condition of a room. The experimental group was instructed to write about a traumatic, upsetting personal experience from the past. Both groups wrote for three days in a row, 20 minutes each. Then, in order to allow any negative feelings that arose from recalling upsetting events to subside, the scientists waited two weeks to perform the biopsy.

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The biopsy was then performed and the healing was tracked over 21 days through photography. 76 percent of the experimental group had already fully healed by day 11, as compared to only 42 percent of the control group by the same time.

Burning questions are sure to arise, and the biggest one is: how did reflective writing help this much in such a short period of time?

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They experienced lower levels of stress through emotionally expressive writing

Co-author of the New Zealand study, Elizabeth Broadbent, concluded that writing about a deeply upsetting experience enabled the experimental participants to make greater sense of their feelings, which in turn reduced the stress surrounding these events.

They see their health levels go up, regardless of their background or medical condition

The health benefits of writing are (fortunately) not restricted to this 2013 New Zealand study. Dr. James Pennebaker, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas in Austin, has been working for nearly two decades with expressive writing as his focal point of study. Dr. Pennebaker was the first to popularize this methodology and bring it to bigger stages of implementation. The craziest part is Dr. Pennebaker and those he’s worked with have found almost no limits to the conditions expressive writing can help.

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They see fewer problems with disease, and ailments often fade away sooner

Patients with arthritis, HIV/AIDS, cancer, asthma and cystic fibrosis have all experienced noticeable, long-term improvements through writing for 15-20 minutes a day, no longer than three to five days at a time.

They are able to organize their thoughts better and let go of the past more easily

Dr. Pennebaker has been asked numerous times about his own thoughts on why this approach works so well, and so consistently. In an interview at his school of tenure in 2005, Dr. Pennebaker commented that “emotional upheavals touch every part of our lives…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.”

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Some of this information can seem too good to be true. Does writing out your deepest emotional thoughts about a personal matter really have the power to change the body’s response to disease or inability? As wondrous and even “magical” as it may sound, the facts are present, and this type of mental-emotional therapy has been improving lives since 1999.

Recommendations based on Dr. James Pennebaker’s methodology:

  • Write about something deeply personal and of critical emotional importance
  • Write for 20 minutes without stopping
  • Repeat this over a period of three to five days

Through the power of reflective writing, you are likely to find yourself feeling less stressed, more at ease with your past and even more physically well. Writing is not only an enjoyable activity – it can change your very state of wellbeing!

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Brad Johnson

Top 5 Kindle Author | Author of 10 Books

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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