Expressive writing

Expressive writing can mean writing about a stressful or traumatic experiences, but also writing about positive experiences and emotions. It is a great tool to coop with our emotions, traumatic experiences, diagnoses, depression, stress, anxiety, lack of support from family members, friends or other, to us important people.

Expressive writing

Expressive writing as a tool to help health workers

Healthcare providers often experience difficult and stressful working conditions, as taking care of a person involves constant confrontation with disease, human suffering, pain, chronicity, and death. When emotional pain is not recognized, faced and elaborated, it can become chronic and cumulative, with important personal and professional implications. This is why expressive writing, as demonstrated by various studies described in the literature review, is a useful tool. It allows reflection upon stressful events and the elaboration of associated feelings that, in the long run, may overwhelm the person’s ability to cope with emotional detachment from experience.

Expressive writing is an important strategy for preventing and managing the effects of compassion fatigue. It helps educate caregivers in recognizing these feelings and providing them with a “space” and a time for their reflection. This, in turn, results in significant positive repercussions on the quality of service, reducing burnout risk, implementing coping strategies, and increasing perceived work satisfaction. [1]

Benefits of expressive writing in reducing test anxiety

Long-term expressive writing of positive emotions appears to help reduce test anxiety by using insight and positive emotion words for Chinese students. Efficient and effective intervention programs to ease test anxiety can be designed based on this study.[2]

The impact of an emotionally expressive writing intervention on eating pathology in female students [3]

A study examined the effect of writing about intensely positive experiences on eating behaviour and disordered eating in a group of female students undertaking exams.

Writing about intensely positive experiences led to a significant reduction in dietary restraint and promoted marginal improvements in mood. These findings are in line with previous research in relation to disturbed eating behaviours. The mechanisms by which such writing leads to improvements require further investigation.

[1] Source: 



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