How Writing About Bad Things Is Good
"Expressive writing about past negative events has been shown to lead to a slew of positive outcomes. However, little is known about why writing about something negative would have positive effects. While some have posited that telling a narrative of a past negative event or current anxiety "frees up" cognitive resources, allowing individuals to focus more on the task at hand, there is little neural evidence suggesting that expressive writing has an effect on cognitive load. Moreover, little is known about how individual differences in the content of expressive writing could affect neural processing and the cognitive benefits writing confers. In our experiment, we compared brain activity in a group that had engaged in expressive writing vs. a control group, during performance on a feedback-based paired-associate word-learning task. We found that across groups, differential activation in the dorsal striatum in response to positive vs. negative feedback significantly predicted better later memory. Moreover, writing about a past failure resulted in more activation relative to the control group during the learning task in the mid-cingulate cortex (MCC), an area of the brain crucial to processing negative emotion. While our results do not provide support for the assertion that expressive writing alters attentional processing, our findings suggest that choosing to write about particularly intense past negative experiences like a difficult past failure may have resulted in changes in neural activation during task processing." - DiMenichi, B. C., et al. (2019). "Effects of Expressive Writing on Neural Processing During Learning." Front Hum Neurosci 13: 389.
Write Your Story Today!
Writing About Stressful Events Doesn't Impair Working Memory
"Acute stress impairs working memory (i.e., the ability to update and keep information in mind). Although that effect is well established, the boundaries around it are not. In particular, little is known about how recalling an unresolved stressor might influence working memory, or about how stress-or recalling a stressful event-influences the processes underlying working memory task performance (e.g., sustained/controlled attention vs. capacity). We addressed these issues in the present study (N = 171) by randomly assigning participants to write about an unresolved, extremely stressful experience (stressful writing condition; n = 85) or the events of the prior day (control condition; n = 86), and, subsequently, both measured change detection task performance and used computational cognitive modeling to estimate the processes underlying it-namely, attention, capacity, and bias. We found that, relative to the control task, writing about a stressful experience neither impaired performance on the change detection task nor altered any of the processes underlying performance on that task. These results show that the effects of writing about an unresolved, stressful episode do not parallel effects of acute stress on working memory, indicating that experiencing a stressor may have very different cognitive effects than recalling it at a later time." Shields, G. S., et al. (2020). "Feel free to write this down: Writing about a stressful experience does not impair change detection task performance." Emotion 20(2): 317-322.
Write Your Memoir Today
Home of the Daily Peace Challenge. Learn about world peace - one word and one language at a time. (c) Kimberly Burnham, 2022
The Meaning of Peace in 8000 Languages
Looking for grant money to complete this peace project
Kimberly Burnham, PhD (Integrative Medicine)
860-221-8510 phone and what's app. Skype: Kimberly Burnham (Spokane, Washington)
Author of Awakenings, Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health and P as in Peace, Paix and Perdamiam: an Inner Peace Journal To Stimulate The Brain
imberly Burnham, The Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Expert, Professional Health Coach for people with Alzheimer's disease, Memory Issues, Parkinson's disease, Chronic Pain, Huntington's Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis, Keratoconus, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Neuropathy, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, Brain Health Coaching ... Contact Kimberly Burnham in Spokane Washington (860) 221-8510 NerveWhisperer@gmail.com.
Chat with Kimberly about Parkinson's, Poetry or other Brain related issues.
Not Taking Advantage of Your Amazon Author's page?
Kimberly Burnham helps authors get their books out into the world more broadly by improving their free Amazon Author's page and book pages, posting a book review on her blog and on her LinkedIn Pulse blog (over 12,000 followers) Promotion packages start at $50. Contact her at NerveWhisperer@gmail.com. See her Amazon Author's Page.
See her list of publications including her latest book of brain health meditations, Awakenings: Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program.
Designed to enhance memory, creativity, and inner peace, Awakenings: Peace,Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health Program is available free of charge as a Kindle eBook on February 14-15, 2019. [Click Here].
Please share and write a review on Amazon.
I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
As poet-in-residence I would write poems on different words in different languages and broadcast them throughout the social media blogosphere. Each poem would link back to your site where the word or language appeared.
I would expect some sort of stipend and a six month to one year placement. Please contact me for details if your organization is interested in having a poet-in-residence to help get your message out. Nervewhisperer@gmial.com
Buy the print or eBook, review Awakenings then contact Kimberly for a free 20 minute brain health consultation. Email or Phone
(Regular rates $120 per hour or 10 sessions for $650.)