Writing down your thoughts can ease anger - but the notes must be thrown away afterwards.

Writing can help calm angry people down

Writing can help calm angry people down

A study in Japan purposely irritated volunteers by asking them to write negative feelings on social issues but those who were told to throw what they had penned in the bin seemed to experience a rapid calming effect as their levels of rage, on a scale of one to six, quickly dropped to where they were prior to the experiment.

On the other hand, those who kept their note continued to feel anger.

Nobuyuki Kawai, lead author of the study at Nagoya University, said: "We expected that our method would suppress anger. However, we were amazed that anger was eliminated almost entirely."

The study only featured 50 participants but Kawai is convinced that the method - inspired by the Japanese tradition known as hakidashisara - could help people who find themselves in stressful situations at work.

He said: "This technique could be applied in the moment by writing down the source of anger, as if taking a memo, and then throwing it away."