“My research shows that writing 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days about a traumatic or difficult event in your life has measurable health benefits that last for days, weeks, even months.” James W. Pennebaker, social psychologist, University of Texas, Austin
I’ve always been a writer. Years ago I wrote adoptive studies on prospective parents, poetry, a book. I earned a living writing newsletters, brochures, scripts. For my well-being, I’ve written daily gratitude journals, prayer journals, affirmations. I’ve never written for the specific purpose of healing, but I don’t doubt Pennebaker’s research.
Pennebaker’s believes that labeling your feelings and putting them into a story affects the immune system. When he speaks of healing, he’s talking about physical healing as well as emotional. Healing in his research is demonstrated by wound shrinkage. Research from New Zealand confirms the writing/physical healing connection. According to the BBC, the effect may be short-lived, but powerful.
Affirmation: My writing heals me.
Coaching questions: If you believe this research could be true, what will you write about? What difference do you expect it will make? When will you start?