Humans worry a lot. It’s a simple fact. We allow our brain to run off with our emotions, attaching them to fabricated assumptions about experiences that may or may not ever come into being. For most of us this manifests as anxiety, or worry about future events, and many of us simply accept this anxiety as a necessary part of life.
Surprisingly, journaling has proven to alleviate this unnecessary pressure we place on ourselves, and there are studies to prove it.
James Pennebaker, author of Writing to Heal, understands the benefits that writing can have on our emotional health, and how expressive writing specifically can actually build a better immune system. In 1986, Pennebaker asked a number of test subjects to write for fifteen minutes about the worst thing that had ever happened to them in their life. Another group was asked to write about simple things: the weather, their bedroom, or anything equally as unimportant. He observed them for six months, concluding that the first group visited the doctor significantly less than the group that wrote about mundane things. This experiment created a new field of research that explores how expressive writing improves the functioning of our immune systems, called “psychoneuroimmunology.”
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