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Soojin Lee 1 Article
Effects of Expressive Writing through Self-Distancing on Emotion and Pain Outcomes in Individuals Who Use Emotional Suppression
Soojin Lee, Sungkun Cho
STRESS. 2022;30(3):129-138.   Published online September 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17547/kjsr.2022.30.3.129
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Background
Emotions are closely related to pain outcomes, and maladaptive emotional regulation strategies such as suppression can exacerbate pain. The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the effects of expressive writing on emotions and pain outcomes of individuals who use emotional suppression.
Methods
Forty university students with an emotional suppression scale score of more than one standard deviation participated in this study. There were 20 students in the expressive writing group and 20 students in the control group. For the expressive writing group, emotions (negative emotions and state anxiety) and pain experiences (threshold, tolerance, intensity, and pupil diameter measured during cold pressure tasks) were assessed before and after a writing intervention.
Results
The expressive writing group had lower post-negative affect than pre-negative affect and lower post-state anxiety than the control group. However, there were no significant differences between groups in pain outcomes and self-distancing.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that expressive writing can help individuals express and experience negative emotions and anxiety more healthily.

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