Stressed out? Brain scans show penning thoughts in diary helps
Interesting study. It also indicates that men get more out starting a diary than women, perhaps because expressing feelings is more "novel" for us guys.
Brain scans on volunteers showed that putting feelings down on paper reduces activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions.
Psychologists who discovered the "Bridget Jones effect" said it worked whether people elaborated on their feelings in a diary, penned lines of poetry, or even jotted down song lyrics to express their negative emotions.
Matthew Lieberman, a psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, said the effect differs from catharsis, which usually involves coming to terms with an emotional problem by seeing it in a different light.
When people wrote about their feelings, medical scans showed that their brain activity matched that seen in volunteers who were consciously trying to control their emotions.