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You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') ORDER BY comment_date ASC' at line 3 How To Use Writing To Make You Happier How To Use Writing To Make You Happier - Article Marketing

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How To Use Writing To Make You Happier

By: larryprice | Total views: 88 | Word Count: 558 | Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 - 12:25 AM

Writing, for me, is one of those things that I'm happier having done than I am doing it. I do enjoy the process, but what I really like is looking at my finished draft, editing it, revising it. I really enjoy that. But, you don't have to be a 'writer' to get enjoyment from writing. Anyone can do it. But you have to write in a specific way, as I'll explain.
The techniques I'll describe here have been tested scientifically, and shown to make people happier. As you might have guessed, I'm not talking about writing a novel, or a poem. These methods are well enough, but what I'm talking about is closer to journaling, or keeping a diary. Some people might be concerned about this, particularly with someone coming along and reading the personal things you've written. If this sounds like you, I recommend looking for a computer program that can password protect your entries, rather than a notebook. You can find some good ones online for free if you search. There are two specific writing methods I want to briefly cover, which have slightly different purposes.
Disclosive Writing
The first method is disclosive writing. This technique is used to help a person deal with traumatic, distressing, or just simply negative events. It helps you make sense of the past and find closure.
The method is to write about the troublesome event. Write about how it happened, how you felt about it, what insights you took from it - things like this. By writing about it, you are forcing yourself to systematically structure and order the events. This makes it easier to process, compared to the sense of jumbled confusion that may have existed before.
In 2005, Joanne Frattaroli reviewed nearly 150 experiments testing this method, and found it to be effective in helping people to deal with difficult experiences. James Pennebaker, one of the leading researchers in this field, wrote a book called "Writing to Heal", which explains exactly how to do this, including specific exercises. It would be worth checking out if you want to try this.
Positive Writing
Positive writing, as you might have guessed, is the process of writing about positive, rather than negative experiences. However, you don't direct this method into the past, but to the future. As a general happiness guideline, it's best not to structure and analyse happy memories, as it is with negative ones. This goes for in your head and on paper. If you want to find a benefit from your happy memories, simply reminisce for a few minutes. This too has been shown to make people happier in studies.
In the literature, the positive writing exercise is called "Best Possible Self", or BPS. You simply write out a description of yourself, as you'd like to be. In the study that this was tested, the participants were asked to write a description of what their future would be like if they met their goals and realised their dreams. Yes, it's a bit cheesy. But it does actually seem to work.
The main benefit of these writing exercises is that they are so quick and easy to do. For a cost of only a few minutes of time and a little effort, you can achieve measurable increases in happiness and psychological well-being.

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