Journaling Ideas for those Living with Chronic Painby Christina Lasich, MD Health Professional
A journal is more than just a place to make a record about events that took place, feelings being felt, or people just met. Moving beyond the “dear-diary” mode of journaling, you might find some real value in journaling as an adult living with chronic pain. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Activity Journal: Activity implies that you have done something. Either you have taken your medications or you have participated in a life activity. By recording the activities done during your day, you can start to see patterns as the days go by. The pain may increase at a certain time of the day or a number of hours after you have taken a particular drug. Or maybe your activity level has increased since a new medication was introduced. This activity journal can help you and your doctor decide if the treatment is working, if changes need to be made, or if your condition is getting better or worse. An activity journal is well worth the effort.
Food Journal: Food is medicine; thus, keeping track of what you eat can be an important part of your treatment plan. A diet consisting of foods that promote inflammation and pain will have a number of carbohydrates and sugary foods eaten on a daily basis. A diet that consists primary of fruits, proteins and vegetables will help your body control inflammation naturally. By keeping a food journal, you can become your own best advocate and your own accountability partner. Your doctor might want to look at your food journal in order to guide you in a healthier direction.
Spiritual Journal: Although your body is deteriorating, your spirit is meant to grow. Spiritual growth happens throughout a lifetime in many ways. Listening to an inspirational message, reading a daily devotional, or speaking with a good friend can all be ways that promote your growth and learning process. A spiritual journal gives you a place to record something that inspired you or humbled you. By writing it down, you are reinforcing the learning that took place and giving yourself a something to look back on in times of need.
Throughout time, humans have been keeping written records of all types. These are just a few examples of topics that might help you get unstuck. Keeping a journal might not come naturally at first, but try it for a month and see what it can do for you. You too might become one of the many people like Oprah that find journaling a very valuable tool which promotes healing and health.
Oprah writes: “I'm back to journaling—electronically—and whenever there's a grateful moment, I note it. I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you're aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”
Start writing and let the healing begin.