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Penning poems ‘helps brain cope with emotional turmoil’

Penning a poem is about observing the world within you or around you,it's said. But researchers have now claimed that its also good for health.

Written by Agencies | London |
February 16, 2009 1:26:55 pm

Penning a poem is about observing the world within you or around you,it’s said. But researchers have now claimed that writing poetry is also good for health.

A new study has found that writing poems,no matter how bad they are,helps brain cope with emotional turmoil and reduces feelings of anxiety,fear and sadness – the less vivid and descriptive the piece,the better.

And,according to the researchers,expressing oneself in print is “a sort of unintentional emotion regulation” as it inhibits parts of the brain linked to emotional turmoil,and increases activity in the region to do with self-control.

“It seems to regulate our distress. I don’t think that people sit down in order to regulate their emotions but there is a benefit.

“I think it could play a role in why many people write diaries or write bad lyrics to songs – the kind that should never be played on the radio,” said lead researcher Dr Matthew Lieberman of California University.

In their study,the researchers proved the therapeutic power of writing by scanning the brains of 30 people as they described distressing pictures.

They found that the act tended to reduce activity in the amygala,a part of the brain connected with emotion and fear and increased activity in the pre-frontal cortex,the mind’s regulator.

This suggests that the mere action of writing about an emotion or fear is a way of calming down the brain as well as re-establishing mental balance,British newspaper ‘The Daily Telegraph’ reported.

“If you ask people then they don’t think it serves an emotion regulation but when you look at the brain that looks like what is going on. The more frontal activity we see,the less amydala response. There seems to be a see-saw affect.

“We do think that it has clinical applications. People expressing negative emotional responses in words while being exposed gave them greater attenuation of fear,” Dr Lieberman said.

📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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