Trauma journaling exercise


Andrew Huberman explains a specific journaling protocol designed to improve mental and physical health by addressing traumatic or stressful experiences. This protocol, supported by substantial scientific research, involves the following key steps:

Steps to the Trauma Journaling Exercise

  1. Write Regularly: Choose either consecutive days or one day each week to write about the most difficult experience you can recall.

    • Duration: Write for 15 to 30 minutes each session.
    • Frequency: Do this over four sessions.
  2. Content Focus:

    • Facts: Write the factual details of the difficult experience.
    • Emotions: Describe the emotions felt at the time of the experience and how you feel about it now.
    • Links: Include any connections that the experience relates to in your present life or future plans.
  3. Emotional Readiness: Be prepared for the emotional impact of this exercise. If it causes significant stress or disrupts your life, consider stopping the practice.

Benefits and Precautions

  • Physiological Changes: The practice can lead to significant positive changes in mental and physical health, including improved immune function, reduced anxiety, and better sleep 1 2.
  • Scientific Support: Studies have shown that this form of journaling can lead to long-lasting positive effects by creating new neural connections, enhancing neuroplasticity, and providing rehabilitative effects through the process of truth-telling and emotional expression 3 4 5.

    Writing for Health

    Discover the powerful effects of writing on mental and physical well-being. Dive into the fascinating research that explores how writing about traumatic experiences can positively impact immune function and lead to significant shifts in both mind and body.

    Huberman Lab

    A Science-Supported Journaling Protocol to Improve Mental & Physical Health
  • Start Moderate: If you're unsure about delving deep into your most traumatic memories, start with something moderately stressful to gauge your ability to handle the process safely.

This protocol, highlighted in the episode from the , is a powerful tool for mental and physical health but should be approached with care and self-compassion.