If you’re anxious, it helps to think about something else. Right? Apparently not.
A new study found that writing for 10 minutes about how anxious you feel before an exam improves how well you do on the exam. The more anxious you are and the more negative statements you express, the greater the improvement.
Gerardo Ramirez and Sian Beilock tested students in the lab and in the classroom, comparing writing about their anxieties to writing about another topic and just sitting quietly. In all situations, the results confirmed that just writing for 10 minutes about their feelings helped tremendously.
This goes along with the study that found that writing about personal values closes the gender gap and the gap between black and white high school students. It amazes me how effective something so seemingly small and simple can be.
Just being true to oneself–whether that is in affirming one’s priorities or in expressing one’s feelings.