TUCSON, Ariz. - Getting the perfect gift for Valentine's Day can be stressful, but one professor at the University of Arizona says there's something you can do that will be more meaningful than any store bought gift: writing a love letter.
Researchers at UA say your body will de-stress if you take out a pen and paper and write down your feelings for someone. It doesn't even have to be romantic. It can be to a friend or coworker, but researchers say doing this can help strengthen your immune system and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
"Writing down why you care about somebody else so much, the things you love about them is very therapeutic to you--even if don't send the letter. Just putting your feelings into words, expressing them on pen and paper can do a lot to help us recover from stressful situations that we may be in," said Kory Floyd, a Professor of Communication at the University of Arizona.
Writing a love letter calms you faster than thinking about someone you care about, writing in a journal, or even meditating.
Floyd also said it's helpful to be proactive and reach out to those you care about with letters or notes. It'll give you stronger benefits than waiting to send something in response.
Even if you feel like you're not good at expressing your feelings, researchers suggest writing down a favorite memory or a time that person made you laugh, and you'll get that same calming effect.