Do­ing this one thing ev­ery day will ef­fec­tively fo­cus your mind.

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To calm your jit­ters and fo­cus your mind for a stress­ful day ahead, pull out a pen. Jot­ting down your feel­ings for eight min­utes could im­prove your wits, a re­cent study from Michi­gan State Univer­sity sug­gests. When chronic wor­ri­ers did this type of ex­pres­sive writ­ing be­fore tak­ing a com­puter test, it re­duced anx­i­ety’s neg­a­tive im­pact on their brain ac­tiv­ity and helped to boost their per­for­mance. “Get­ting your wor­ries out on a piece of pa­per takes the load off the mind – es­sen­tially, it no longer has to mul­ti­task both think­ing and deal­ing with anx­i­ety – and al­lows it to per­form more ef­fi­ciently,” says lead study author Hans Schroder. The key is not to hold back, Hans says. Just re­mem­ber: The page is for your eyes only, so let it all out.

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