• diary

Can Writing a Diary Make You Happier?

Sunday

Dear diary – no, let’s not make this personal – this is a scientific experiment. Today I learned from Matthew Lieberman (he’s a psychologist at UCLA) that writing a diary helps you come to terms with emotional problems. It’s an appealing idea. “Writing seems to help the brain regulate emotion unintentionally,” he says. So this is what I shall do.

Monday

I’m not sure my writing here is personal enough – it almost feels like I’m writing a blog post. Lieberman said to write about an emotional experience, and that writing by hand is better than typing. That’s going to be hard to do here, but let me just come out and say it: I still feel pretty annoyed that only one person commented on my Facebook post about having quite a nasty cold last week.

Tuesday

Too upset to write today.

Wednesday

Apparently men are supposed to get more out of diary writing than women. Lieberman says this is because it’s more of a ‘novelty’ for them to do. I’m not sure Samuel Pepys would agree with that, but I appreciate what he’s trying to say. Anyway, felt a bit better today.

Thursday

More news! Psychologists at National Taiwan University have discovered another secret to happy diary scribbling: writing in the third person. Like this: He still feels pretty annoyed that only one person commented on his Facebook post about having quite a nasty cold last week. This is supposed to help distance me from the bad experience.

Does it work? Probably best to try it out yourself. And write it in an actual diary, not on a blog.

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