Wednesday, November 18, 2009


How sweet it is when you find research that supports things you are doing. There are a number of reasons why I started THE HOPE LADY Blog. I wanted to capture in writing my daily experiences, I wanted to write consistently from a hope perspective, and wanted to practice being hopeful by writing about hope. . Hope, as I understand it, is largely a positive emotion, related to joy, related to excitement. It remains positive even though we tend to be most aware of hope at times when we are doubtful or fearful.
I have found such pleasure in writing the blog. Much of it has been about the simple and pleasing things in my life, flowers, music, family, food. Other writings have been hopeful pieces about coping with difficulties of one kind or another. Having the blog has given me the impetus to do the writing.
It is interesting to read a study by Berton and King showing that writing about positive experiences improves mood, even when the writing contains many words which might be thought of as negative. What’s more, berton and King have found that students who wrote about positive experiences made fewer visits to their health providers than students who wrote about neutral experiences. It was also interesting to find studies showing that positive writing can help with regulation of emotion, one aspect of emotional intelligence. Here are some references to check out if you are interested in reading more.

Burton, C. & King, L. (2004). The health benefits of writing about intensely positive experience, Journal of Research in Personality 38 (2004) 150–163
Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 3, 300–319.
Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional wellbeing. Psychological Science, 13, 172–175.
Fredrickson, B. L., & Levenson, R. W. (1998). Positive emotions speed recovery from the cardiovascular sequelae of negative emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 12, 191–220.
Lewandowski, G. (2009) Promoting positive emotions following relationship dissolution through writing, The Journal of Positive Psychology 4(1) 21 – 31
Wing, j., Schurr, J., & Byrne, B. (2006. The effect of positive writing on emotional intelligence and life satisfaction, Journal of Clinical Psychology 62(10), 1291–1302.

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