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A research group in Japan has discovered that writing down one's reaction to a negative incident on a piece of paper and then shredding it or throwing it away reduces feelings of anger.

"We expected that our method would suppress anger to some extent," lead researcher Nobuyuki Kawai said. "However, we were amazed that anger was eliminated almost entirely."

The results of this study, published in Scientific Reports, are the culmination of years of previous research on the association between the written word and anger reduction. It builds on work showing how interactions with physical objects can control a person's mood.

Along with its practical benefits, this discovery may shed light on the origins of the Japanese cultural tradition known as "hakidashisara" ("hakidashi" refers to the purging or spitting out of something, and "sara" refers to a dish or plate) at the Hiyoshi shrine in Kiyosu, Aichi Prefecture, just outside of Nagoya. Hakidashisara is an annual festival where people smash small disks representing things that make them angry. Their findings may explain the feeling of relief that participants report after leaving the festival.

Source: Medical Xpress