Expressive Writing in Psychological Science
- I have been deeply fascinated by studies on the effects of expressive writing for several years. To me, the are some of the most tangible, trustworthy, and objective indicators of the power of the mind-body connection.
- These experiements conclusively demonstrate that writing about one’s trauma can lead to significant quantifiable improvements in health.
- “The first expressive writing experiment was run in the Fall of 1983 with the help of Sandy Beall, a new graduate student. In retrospect, the study was horribly underpowered. Nevertheless, we discovered that students randomly assigned to write about traumas for 4 days, 15 minutes a day, ended up going to the student health center over the next 6 months at about half the rate of students in the control condition (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986).”
- “Was it possible to write a computer program that could analyze people’s writing samples and predict who would show health improvements? The answer was yes.”
For those who want to learn more:
- I’ve already posted a link to the lecture once or twice, but it’s so darn good that wanted to put another one up for those who might have missed it.
- It provides a great description of the borderline miraculous effects that expressive writing can have for both a person’s health, and their academic and professional success.
New study connects cardiovascular exercise with improved memory
- “Published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 30 volunteers (median age: 66) either ran or stretched for 25-30 minutes three times a week. Each participant had no recent experience with exercise. Every volunteer showed some sign of memory impairment, which was a requirement, as this was a study on memory.”
- “While the stretching group experienced minimal improvement in memory tests over the course of the year, the aerobic group saw a 47 percent jump in test scores.”
Are Melamine Dishes and Polyamide Plastic Utensils Safe?
- Contains some useful information on how to avoid exposure to toxins that are present in some forms of cookware.
- Side note: According to research published in the journal Nature 70 – 90% of cancer cases are caused, not by genes, but by lifestyle factors such as toxins.
- “I recommend glass, ceramic, porcelain, or stainless-steel tableware and wooden or stainless-steel cooking utensils.”
It’s so easy to criticize. To imagine that if you were put in the other’s place, you would have acted more intelligently or honorably.
For the vast majority of human evolution, we processed a minuscule fraction of the amount of information that we process today. It seems likely that our current levels of informational consumption might be well above that which is best for long term wellbeing.
Would you rather know many facts or have many skills?
Perhaps the difference between dreams and our waking experience of reality is one of degree as opposed to kind.
Photo of the Week by @chaseschoberphotography
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