Do you keep a journal or a diary? Even if you do, you might want to start recording physical and mental health information.  Keeping a journal can be a great way to get an insight into your health, both physical and mental, and a way to start a journey of self-discovery. So, if you don’t you might want to start.

But, what do I write about? Well it’s up to you, but a good place to start are your thoughts and feelings on that day. Were you anxious, stressed, relaxed or confident? Even this simple step can help you to understand your feelings more clearly. Other things to note might be memorable events of the time and how they made you feel.

To start with it might seem strange. Even Anne Frank, the celebrated diarist struggled. She said, “Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl”.

Many find the process of writing a journal relaxing. Also it can feel good to get all of those thoughts, worries and feelings out of your head and down on paper. It can help you to understand them more clearly. Labelling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events, both natural by products of journaling, are known to have a positive effect on people. Also, writing is basically an organisational process. So, keeping a journal helps to organise events in our mind and make sense of concerns and trauma. When we do that, our working memory improves, since our brains are freed from the enormously taxing job of processing that experience. Because of this it can also improve your quality of sleep.

So how do I do it? Well, it doesn’t have to be a physical book, but it can be. More likely it will be document on your phone or computer. Try to write every day by setting aside a few moments, perhaps at bed time. Keep a pen and paper nearby at all times so when you want to write down something you can. This is your document and so there is no right or wrong. Simply write or draw whatever feels right. It’s your private, safe place to express your feelings.

If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or the effects of trauma, hypnotherapy can help. Contact me for more information.

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