Laid up in bed with an injury? Break out the pen and paper.
A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that people who wrote expressively healed from a biopsy faster than people who did not. Forty-nine older adults took part in the study; half of them wrote about a negative or distressing event for at least twenty minutes a day, three days in a row. After two weeks, all had a biopsy, and photographs were taken over the next three weeks to track healing. On the eleventh day, seventy-six per cent of the expressive writing group had fully healed, versus forty-two per cent of the control group. Researchers theorize that writing about distressing events helps people make sense of them, which subsequently reduces stress hormones.
So, next time you’re stuck in a hospital bed, maybe reach for a notebook. It can’t hurt.