"One of the most surprising findings about expressive writing is that the more people can use positive emotions in their writing, the more they benefit from the exercise. We see positive emotions when words such as love, caring, funny, joy, beautiful, and warmth are used. The degree to which people can use these words even when they are dealing with terrible traumas predicts health improvements after writing.
"Being able to acknowledge positive emotions when dealing with tragic events is related to optimism and benefit-finding. Across an increasing number of studies, people who are able to see the positive side of negative experiences tend to cope better. This is not to say you should be some kind of Pollyanna who pretends everything is wonderful. In fact, if you have tried to do this in the past, you probably have learned that it doesn't work.
"The take-home message from this research is that it is important to acknowledge the bad and look for the good. The degree to which you can do this in your writing is one factor that correlates to improved health."
What do you think about Pennebaker's hypothesis that you feel better when you write about stress and trauma using positive emotions?