LifeJournal™ Newsletter – January 2011


I have big news about an exciting and practical teleseminar by Eric Maisel called  “Journal Your Way to Success!” Eric is an amazingly creative, perceptive, and experienced therapist, coach, and author.  Not only does Eric understand people and how they change and grow, his recently developed Focused Journal Method is tested and shaped by his research with hundreds of people. The Focused Journal Method is understandable, doable, and brings RESULTS.
We are so excited  that Eric is premiering this journaling method at the International Association for Journal Writing, that we’re offering the same seminar on two different days, Wednesday, February 23 and Thursday, February 24—to try to accommodate your schedule. We want to give you every opportunity to join. Learn more and sign up before Tuesday, February 1st and the cost is $29. The price goes up to $39 on February 1.

This is one teleseminar not to be missed! Sign up now!

This month’s newsletter article is about The Power of Writing—offering you even more evidence about how writing about what’s meaningful to you will increase your own performance.

To your on-going and meaningful writing,
Ruth Folit
More Research Providing Evidence about the Power of Writing

If you are skeptical about just how powerful the process of writing can be, I want to let you know about two articles that were recently reported in scientific journals. Neither article may apply to you directly, but the findings are so clear that I’m sure it will make you sit up, take notice, and then…open your LifeJournal program and start writing!

One study is about women in college physics classes. (I told you that it may not seem relevant—but read on!)  The fact is that overall, women don’t get as high grades in college physics classes as men do. And, as you probably guessed, women are in the minority in most physics classes. Many of these women students bought in to the stereotype that women aren’t as good at physics as men.  If you were a researcher trying to find ways to improve women’s grades in physics, what variable would you use to test? Yes, you guessed it–writing!

The researchers decided to ask both men and women University of Colorado physics students —who were majors in either science, math, engineering, or technology—to select from a list of a dozen stated values (such as “relationship with family and friends” and “learning or gaining knowledge”)  those that were most important to them. Some students were then asked twice during the semester to write “self-affirming essays,” that is essays about their own values, what values they personally stood for and cared about.  Other students were asked to look at the list of values and write which ones they didn’t identify with, but write about why they thought someone else would care about them.

Those women who wrote the self-affirming essays increased their grades significantly, from an average of “C” to an average of “B.” This is in contrast to the other students (men who wrote about anything related to values and women who didn’t write about their own values) who showed no change in their grades.  It seems that the process of women writing about who they were (the so-called “self-affirming essays”) and what they stood for eased their anxiety and stress and so performed better in the class.

The second study is about teens and test taking.  In this study, some teens were asked to write about their feelings of anxiety for ten minutes before they took the test. Others were asked to sit quietly for ten minutes prior to taking the test and think about something other than the test topics.  Those teens who were very anxious about taking tests got higher scores on the test when they wrote for ten minutes about their anxiety before taking the test  than those student who quietly sat for ten minutes thinking about something other than the test topics. The technique of writing about their worries before the test seem to work best among high-anxiety students.

In summary, these articles offer strong evidence that writing about material meaningful to the writers affected their performance.  It seems that people writing about meaningful topics affects their mindsets, which then affects their performance. The message: Want to excel in your goals? Write about your fears, your values, and other issues that have deep meaning to you.
End Quotes:

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”—Mark Twain
“… we could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”  –Helen Keller


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