Sealing the Emotions Genie

Sealing the Emotions Genie

Bullying, cyber aggression, relationship breakup, parental divorce, bereavement, being unsuccessful in a job interview, or an exam, all this are negative events that can hurt us. Sometimes, however, it is the memory of these events that keeps lingering in our minds not letting us move on from them. This is when this activity can come in handy.

Try this:

For 20 minutes, write about your deepest thoughts and feelings about an event that upset you. After you completed your recollections, put all the written pages into an envelope and seal it.

Many participants who complete an additional act of sealing an envelope, putting something into a box, throwing the writing away, burning it, etc. experience greater closure than those who just write about their negative events. In other words, we need to find a physical enclosure, before experiencing a psychological closure.


Li, X., Wei, L., & Soman, D. (2010). Sealing the emotions genie: The effects of physical enclosure on psychological closure. Psychological Science, 21(8), 1047–1050.