The Importance of Keeping a Journal

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Today I just wanted to briefly talk about why I think journaling is essential when battling MS. Not only can it help you mentally and emotionally, but it can help you keep track of time and when certain things happened such as symptom gains, symptom loss, appointment dates, medication schedules, etc. though it’s good for much more, I want to focus on the mental and emotional health aspect of journaling.
PhotobucketAs I’ve mentioned before in a previous posting I have always had a sarcastically pessimistic attitude, I tend to downplay my success and when dealing with such a negative, depressing disease such as multiple sclerosis it’s really easy to belittle your progress which is very bad! Journaling has helped me eliminate that nasty habit, by journaling I can compare and contrast how I am doing today in comparison to how I was doing two weeks ago. Because my changes in symptoms are so gradual it’s easy to feel like nothing has changed at all but reading back I can see that clearly I am doing much, much, better! That really helps the negative attitude!
Because of this, I would recommend that EVERYONE with MS writes a journal whether it’s a personal journal or an online blog because it really can help put your progress into perspective. It’s also interesting to look back at how you were doing physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Another benefit to journaling, especially for those of you who have memory issues like I do, is that you can make markers for important date’s such as when you visited your doctor last, when you started a new medication, when you receive an important phone call, etc. This has helped me greatly because I’m not good at maintaining a calendar and I am really good at forgetting important dates and losing track of time, but now all I have to do is look back to my blog and find whatever it is I need to find.
STRESS!
We all know stress is bad and hard to get rid of, sometimes punching a hole in the wall just doesn’t cut it… A lot of people feel that writing about stressful events helps releive the tension associated with it, much like venting to a friend.
Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides other unexpected benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you.”

– http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/

So How do You Start Journaling?
Just write! I’m not going to lie, writing is hard and that’s coming from someone who loves to write. You have to make it a habit, dedicate half an hour every day to just write whatever is on your mind. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or formatting or anything like that, just right whatever comes to your mind, however you feel like writing it. Over time you will start to shape your method of writing, you will develop your own personal style and it will become easier each day! It’s all about making it a habit though, otherwise you will just skip out on a day or two which leads to a week or two which leads to “Oh, hey, I’m not really writing anymore”. Sure our lives are busy, but I’m sure you can find at least half an hour or even 15 minutes to write a quick journal down, you would be amazed at how beneficial writing is! Good
luck!
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3 Responses to The Importance of Keeping a Journal

  1. jgycay says:

    I just began doing it. I even make note of the temp. since that seems to control many of my MS symptoms. Great job. I love your blogs.

  2. Matt Allen G says:

    Great! I'm glad to hear and you know what, I didn't think about the temperature thing, good idea, I'm going to start a journal JUST for that! Thanks!

  3. Matt Allen G says:

    Also, you should follow my blog on the right lol make me feel special! I want to get like 40 follower by the end of the month, THANKS!

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