Learning! The psychological value of confessing
It's no surprise that people feel a drive to confess: from churches to the popularity of Post Secret, it's clear that we like to get things off our chests.
A recent article in Scientific American shares about the overall benefits of confessing and how you can get them whether or not you are religious. In fact, they focus mostly on expressive writing as a form of confession, which has the added benefit of being totally private.
What are the benefits of confessing (whether out loud or to your diary)? Well, according Dr. James W. Pennebaker, one of the key benefits is putting our emotional experiences into words, which makes them more concrete and less menacing, helping us understand them better. Another theory is that by writing things down we no longer feel the need to go over and over them in our minds, reliving the bad feelings time and time again.
Whatever it is, people who practice expressive writing tend to have lower stress and sleep better, on top of feeling much better about their worries.
Get out the notebook-confessional!