More evidence of the strong link between body and emotions.
According to new research, writing down affectionate thoughts about close friends and family can reduce your cholesterol levels. Floyd et al. (2007) randomly assigned participants to one of two groups: one experimental and one control. The experimental group wrote with affection about one person in their lives for 20 minutes on three occasions over a five-week period. The control group wrote mundane descriptions of their activities over the week, jobs they had done and places they had lived.
The results from two separate studies demonstrated that after only 25 days, the experimental group who had written affectionate notes, showed a significant reduction in cholesterol. These reductions were seen independently from the effects of general health factors like age, drinking, smoking and so on. Mean cholesterol levels reduced from 170 mg/dL to 159 mg/dL (figures are from the second study which was methodologically more secure).
See the whole article for some limitations in generalizability.
This study is consistent with another bunch we talked about somewhere on writing and reduced health problems/ improved mood. If I find it, I'll link it up here. BTW, I believe journaling has helped so many of my patients through their darkest hours...
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