Extract from an article by Dr David Hanscom on his ‘Back in Control’ site:
There are over 200 research papers that document that expressive writing is effective for improving both your mental and physical health.
I have been adamant for a long time that you should write down just negative thoughts – not positive ones. That has also been the general feeling of many papers. Interestingly enough, I ran across several papers that documented that writing down positive thoughts is equally effective.
It appears that expressing thoughts and emotions works. The debate is how and why it is effective.
One theory is that it switches your thinking into a slower, more rational mode, than automatic fast thinking.
For me, writing was the first and only effective strategy that pulled me out of a 15-year tailspin.
I had been in psychotherapy for 13 years and continued to spiral downward.
I am an advocate of psychological interventions but they have to be combined with some other tool that helps to calm the nervous system.