Ok folks, my weekly challenge involves a very interesting study from Boston University that I came across the other day that I want to share with you. The study looked at a technique known as expressive writing, which involves writing one’s thoughts and feelings about a certain issue. In this study, participants with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) expressed their thoughts and feelings about having IBS. They wrote for 30 minutes on four consecutive days.

Expressive writing was found to improve IBS severity and cognition in participants with longer-term duration of IBS. More studies are needed to confirm the potential for using this method in IBS treatment, but these preliminary results are hopeful.

It turns out that expressive writing has been found to be beneficial for a number of health conditions, like depression, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic pain, chronic infection, and even length of hospital stay. How cool!

So, this week, if you are suffering from a chronic illness (especially IBS) take 30 minutes out of four days in a row to record your thoughts and feelings about it. Here is an excerpt from the instructions used in the study:

“…Feel free to really let go and explore your very deepest emotions and thoughts. You might tie your topic to your relationships with others, including parents, lovers, friends, or relatives, to your past, your present, your future, or to who you have been, who you would like to be, or who you are now…”

So get out a pen and paper (or your laptop) and let it all out. It may just make you feel better in the long run.