In the late s, psychologist James Pennebaker developed a form of writing therapy called expressive writing. When you engage in expressive writing, you write about your deepest thoughts and feelings without concern for spelling, grammar, or sentence construction.
It is free-flowing and unfocused self-expression. Although not everybody benefits from expressive writing, recent studies have shown that expressive writing helps anxious individuals perform better on tests. While this theory is appealing, more data was needed to substantiate it.
Schroder and his colleagues set out to explore. Their study involved people Write Me Health Blog had been preoccupied by worry for a long time. The team looked for brain wave changes as a result of expressive writing to see how the writing was helping, if at all.
Your brain is constantly creating electrical signals. You can see these signals when you place electrodes on the scalp and connect them to a monitoring device called an electroencephalogram EEG. They look like waves.
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Every time you encounter any stimulus or event e. And you can see this response on the EEG as well. One important type of brain wave is a sharp negative downward signal that occurs when you make an error, even if you are not aware of it. And in people who worrythis negative signal is much larger. The larger signal Write Me Health Blog the compensatory effort that anxious people need to make when tuning out Write Me Health Blog worries. This extra effort uses thinking resources that could otherwise be better used read article focus on other activities, for example answering test questions.
If expressive writing frees up mental resources, we would expect the negative signal to be reduced, as there would be fewer distracting worries stored in the brain. Schroder and his colleagues conducted an experiment on 44 female students from a midwestern university.
They chose females because prior studies had shown that women in particular show the exaggerated negative signal when they worry.
Also, women in general have more anxious apprehension than men. One group of participants was asked to engage in expressive writing about their worries, while the comparison group was asked to engage in writing unrelated to their worries. Then they were also given a computer task designed to elicit the negative-signal brainwaves. What can you do if you worry a lot?
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Based on this study, expressive writing about your worries will help you become less distracted, thereby making your brain less reactive and more focused. It is this unfocused activity — free-flowing writing that documents whatever comes to mind without concern for technical errors — that will help your brain become more focused, thereby allowing you to complete tasks more successfully.
In fact, many other forms of unfocus can help you focus more easily too. So, before you have to concentrate on anything, spend eight to 10 minutes writing out your worries. When you do, your worry is less likely to get in your way, and you will likely complete tasks more easily, with your worries out of your brain and on the task at hand instead.
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I have heard that writing unselfciously with your nondominant hand is also a way of doing that which has been described. The change up in your circuitry is supposed to joggle and undo blocks. Does anybody have any thoughts or information on this topic?
I feel that expressive writing should be followed by an effort to engage in writing more positive realistic alternatives to the worrying thought. This will not only help reduce the anxious feelings but will also set a ground to develop healthier and more optimistic perspectives about worrying situations. Very rapidly, and in no order, I wrote out everything in my mind about this. I censored nothing, and used pencil for speed.
I wrote about a dozen one or two line statements. Write Me Health Blog later I realized I had overlooked my click here of waking up in the early hours too anxious to get back to sleep. Why not use the same formula? Of course I did, and now I can slide back into sleep very easily. I believe that Write Me Health Blog produces the same effect. If you offload your specific worries on to a higher power you are doing the same thing as in your expressive writing except doing it verbally.
I am a sufferer of GAD, general anxiety disorder. I have found that prayer is more effective than Klonopin at halting a panic attack. Also, the bible says Write Me Health Blog Philippians 4: Expressive writing, comments that come from the heart, anything that burdens the writer or anything the writer feels exhilarating, frees the writer to concentrate on matters of the here and now and the mind feels unburdened. Afterwards there is a wonderful feeling, a weight lifted off your mind and you are free to open your mind to more joyful things to anticipate or contemplate.
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