Writing about difficult experiences, such as chronic illness and trauma, can be an effective way to ease emotional pain, stress, and worry. Moreover, the latest research shows that expressing your feelings in words can also speed up healing and ease physical pain.
A 2013 study out of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, of 49 older adults asked half of its participants to write for 20 minutes a day over a two week period about their most traumatic experience. They were asked to be as open as possible about their feelings at the time and, in particular, concerns they had never shared with anyone. The other half of the group was asked to write for the same duration about their plans for the next day, without expressing any emotion.