Journaling: Should It Have a Place in Your Life?

*The information provided in this blog is not medical advice and is not intended to, and does not, replace the advice provided by your health care professional. Always seek advice from your licensed healthcare professional in regards to your healthcare needs.

Some people have discovered that a popular practice can offer therapeutic value: journaling. This is likely why online journals or blogs have exploded in popularity, as well. However, sometimes we may wish to communicate some deeply personal reflections without necessarily sharing them with the universe through an online blog. Journals can give us the freedom and “permission” to speak freely without consequence as we share our thoughts and feelings with no one to judge them. Journal entries also provide us with an opportunity to refer back to them later so we can reflect and examine where we’ve been emotionally at an earlier time in our lives.

Whether using a journal as a means of channeling emotions or fears through written word or maybe as a practical archive for information or feedback, there are a number of reasons you may want to consider adding journaling to your daily schedule.

Releasing the weight that pain, emotions or conflicted feelings may be carrying on our minds or hearts.

Artist and writer Lucia Capacchione shares in her article “Healing Through Writing and Drawing” at the International Association for Journal Writing website how she used writing as a coping tool. At the time, she had been misdiagnosed and was struggling with what doctors had deemed a “mysterious condition.” Instead of remaining lost, confused and angry, she turned to journaling as a means of healing. She began sketching and created a visual journal to reflect the emotions that were enveloping her as she dealt with medication side effects, fatigue and pain. Over time, as she became stronger, she added writing to her journal to accompany the imagery. Her journal ended up leading her to a new professional path, art therapy, which she has since used to help others.

Whether you are a caregiver, a family member or the patient suffering from EB, think about how you could use words and images to channel your private thoughts and emotions onto the page to help relieve any stress, fear, anger or confusion you may be feeling. Could you use a journal to help you deal with the repercussions of epidermolysis bullosa on you or your family on a daily basis?

Identifying the root of our thoughts and feelings.

David Simon, M.D., at SelfGrowth.com notes in his article “The Healing Power of Journaling” that journaling also can be helpful at getting to the root of why we feel as we do, allowing us to pose questions to ourselves through the book that we must answer openly, honestly and thoroughly for no one’s eyes but our own. In this way, a journal can provide a window to what’s in our heart and head and, more importantly, to what led it to be that way. Why do you feel the way you do about your condition or about seeing your loved one experience the effects of living with EB every day? A journal can be a powerful tool to guide you to the answers.

Improving our mood and outlook to allow greater peace with the outcome.

Writer Felice Willat will tell you that there are numerous advantages to taking up the practice of journaling, but as she points out in her piece “Health Benefits of Journal Writing,” there one very important benefit: it makes us feel better! She even cites a study by Smyth and Pennebaker whose findings seem to point to greater clarity and deeper understanding for those participants who wrote in journals for four consecutive days for 15-30 minutes. Could allocating even just 10 minutes a day to write it all down, whatever you are feeling or going through, help improve your spirits?

Serving as a practical archive for important information and results.

Another useful purpose for a journal may be the most obvious of all: simply a tool to record the important events and discoveries as they happen in life. Could it be beneficial to you to have that one place you can go back to as an archive of sorts, listing how a particular wound care supply worked for the patient or to keep track of different reactions to certain meds or new foods introduced? Why not keep one central source to record all of this important information so you can easily look back to a date or a topic from an earlier time?

Are you currently using a journal? If so, please share what it has offered you personally. Blogs can be wonderful for bringing together people with common concerns and circumstances, but there may be times when you need to have a place where you can truly say exactly what you feel with no pressure, judgment or commentary, just a safe place to share what’s in your mind and heart. A journal could be that place.

 

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