According to a study featured in TIME writing about traumatic experiences may help physical wounds heal faster.

Experts led by Elizabeth Broadbent, a senior health psychology lecturer at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, divided 49 older adults between ages 64 and 97 into two groups.

Members of the first group were asked to openly write about their most traumatic experiences (including their feelings and beliefs) for 20 minutes during a three-day period. On the other hand, participants from the second group were assigned to write about their plans for the following day in a logical manner.

Two weeks after the writing exercise started, researchers took skin biopsies that left a wound in each participant's arm. The sample was used for another study, but the wound was closely monitored. 

Based on the photographs taken, researchers found that the wounds of 76 percent of the participants who candidly wrote about their worst experiences  had completely healed, as compared with 42 percent from the group who listed down their plans.

Researchers believe that writing about painful emotions may promote sleep and lessen the production of stress hormones, which help the body recuperate faster. While this type of therapy may not be for everyone, being emotionally open may pave the way to a healthier you.

(Photo by Sanja Gjenero via sxc.hu)

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