It turns out a good way to deal with your past mistakes is to write them down. Researchers from Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University examined how writing about past failures affects future task performance in 86 people. They found participants who wrote about their past failures were less stressed compared to a control group when performing a challenge. Researcher Brynne DiMenichi writes, "Our results suggest that, in a future stressful situation, having previously written about a past failure causes the body's stress response to look more similar to someone who isn't exposed to stress at all." Also, those who wrote about a past failure made more careful choices while performing the new stressful task, and performed better overall than the control group.