More fascinating evidence of the connection between mind and body: A long term study of HIV positive gay men found that the men who concealed their sexual history contracted AIDS and died at a significanly higher rate than the men who told the truth about their sexual history and the men who made up lies about their sexual history. Apparently the act of keeping secrets is bad for your helth, and even lying is better for your health than keeping secrets.
Another study was conducted on men and women whose spouses had died, either by accident or suicide. The hypothesis was that the people whose spouse had committed suicide would experience worse health in the year following the suicide. The results shot down the hypothesis. Instead the main indicator of health was the widow/widowers willingness to discuss the loss, and the spouse of the suicide victim was actaully more likely to discuss what had happened and consequently experience better health. The study found discussing the loss was beneficial and ruminating on it was detrimental.
Dr. Anderson also cites studies that show a connection between "emotional disclosure" and immune system function, mood, GPA, frequency of doctors visits and re-employment after losing a job. Fascinating stuff!
(ps If you think this stuff is as interesting as I do I've linked to Amazon in the title, so you can go snatch up a copy.)