Lifestyle change I’d recommend to everyone: Stop using shampoo
- I did this around a year and a half ago. Since then, my hair has been in better shape than ever, and is never greasy.
- It became more greasy than usual for about a month after I made the switch, but this effect completed subsided shortly thereafter and has never come back.
Video on why not using shampoo is a probably a good choice and why it’s almost certainly better for the health of your hair, your bank account, and most importantly, your endocrine system
A few more examples of the power of expressive writing therapy
- As I’ve discussed in this post, expressive writing therapy is a technique in which one writes about their deepest traumas and emotional upheavals. It has been scientifically proven to lead to improved health outcomes, and boosted markers of immune function.
- I recently found out about a few more ways in which writing about one’s traumas has been shown to be beneficial. The excerpts included below are taken from this article.
- “…in 1999, Joshua Smyth and Arthur Stone and colleagues at SUNY at Stony Brook assigned patients with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis either to write about the most stressful event of their lives or to write about a neutral topic. Four months later, asthma patients in the experimental group showed improvements in lung function and arthritis patients in the experimental group showed a reduction in disease severity. In all, 47 percent of the patients who disclosed stressful events showed clinically relevant improvement, whereas only 24 percent of the control group exhibited such improvement.
- A joint 1994 study by psychologists and outplacement firm Drake Beam Morin followed 63 professionals who had been laid off from their jobs for eight months after they were assigned to one of three writing conditions. In the experimental condition, participants were instructed to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about the layoff and about how their lives, personal and professional, had been affected. In the control condition, participants were told to write about their plans for the day and their job search activities. In the no-writing condition, participants were given no particular writing instruction. After five consecutive days of 30-minute writing sessions, researchers started tracking employment status. Participants who wrote about losing their jobs were much more likely to find new ones in the months following the study.
- At the Dallas Memorial Center for Holocaust Studies, (James Pennebaker) and his colleagues videotaped interviews with more than 60 Holocaust survivors (about their traumas) while taking their physiological measurements. Later, they classified each survivor, based on the interview, as a low, midlevel or high “discloser.” High and midlevel disclosers were significantly healthier a year after the interviews than the low disclosers.
- The above example helps to demonstrate that speaking about one’s traumas can exhibit the same effects, and that the effectiveness of doing so is largely a function of the degree to which one is able to be completely open about their experiences. Research has conclusively proven that keeping trauma secret is bad for one’s health, although it would be my guess that after a person has thoroughly discussed their traumas with a few people, they would begin to experience diminishing marginal returns (from a health standpoint) with every additional retelling.
- For anyone interested in learning how to do expressive writing, I’d recommend reading this book: Expressive Writing: Words that Heal, which was written by the practice’s inventor, Dr. James Pennebaker.