Tuesday, March 10, 2009

UT Psychology professor James Pennebaker and graduate student Richard Slatcher found writing about one's romantic relationship may help it last longer. ("How Do I Love thee?  Let Me Count the Words. ") The researchers found that 77 percent of volunteers who wrote about their relationship were still dating their partner three months later.  In contrast, only 52 percent of people who wrote just about everyday activities stayed with their partner.  

Slatcher comments that "writing down your thoughts helps put worries into concrete ideas . . . it creates a cohesive story for your life narrative."

As you continue your journey through the Lenten season, consider following Penebaker's tips:

Getting Ready to Write:
  • Commit to writing for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for at least three or four consecutive days.
  • Write continuously.  Don't worry about spelling or grammar, and if you run out of things to write about, just repeat what you have already written.
  • You may write longhand, type on a computer, or if you are unable to write, speak into a tape recorder.
  • You do not have to write about the same topic every day.
What to Write About:
  • Worries, thoughts or anything that is affecting your life in an unhealthy way
  • Your dreams
  • Something you have avoided for days, weeks or years
As Pennebaker says , "The use of expressive writing as a tool for relationship enhancement could  be applied to families, circles of friends and even work groups."

Or, even God.


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