Pack up your worries. In an envelope.

If something’s troubling you, write it on a piece of paper then seal it in an envelope.

This was the conclusion of research conducted at the University of Singapore Business School.

Participants were asked to write about a recent decision that they regretted, then half of them handed in their papers as they were, while the other half sealed their papers in envelopes first — then handed them in.

The envelope sealers reported feeling less negative about the event than the non-sealers did.

Whilst I can think of things that might have complicated the result (perhaps those who sealed their envelopes worried less that their regrets were going to be pored over by the experimenter?) the basic principle seems sound.

I reckon you could add to the effect by destroying or discarding the envelope too.

Maybe worth a try.

4 thoughts on “Pack up your worries. In an envelope.

  1. I have found that writing things down – worries, regrets, anger – anything that really bothers me, and then reading it a couple of times & saying that I’m letting go. Then I crumple it and burn it (a metal pie plate is good for this). Then, I put the ashes on my flower beds or in my houseplants, with the intent of converting the negative into something beautiful. It works most of the time. 🙂

  2. This is similar to a trick I learnt to help me from staying swake, or waking up in the night, and fixating on a problem. I would write it down on a piece if paper then pop it in a drawer, and close the drawer. It works for me. However, I have yet to try a variation where I write the problem down, then write a request for a solution.

  3. A number of years ago I sealed some particularly depressing thoughts in an envelope and burned the envelope in a campfire while on a holiday weekend. I did actually feel better.

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