Keeping a journal

Dalai Lama journal and pen

Shortly after I started my wellness journey, I picked up the advice to start writing a journal and capturing my progress and thoughts for the day. Over time this has evolved into a daily practize that I just don’t skip. It is a way to chart my journey, capturing what I eat, seeing my progress, – through peaks and recovering out of troughs – and it is also a way to release my thoughts for the day before I go to bed.

A journal as a release for stress
I have long had problems with sleeping, but I have found that I sleep better when I release whatever is in my mind before I go to bed onto the pages of a notebook. It is a great way to organize my thoughts, and to ponder things that are happening in my life.

The journal will not talk back to me or judge me, and over a series of days I can write down and explore different ways I could approach something that is giving me stress, or think through a problem. Sometimes I just release frustrations, without looking for a solution.

A journal of hope
I have also discovered that it is a great way to continue to maintain hope that I will be healthy long term. I am so conscious of how I feel each day through having to write it down, that I can see progress in a way that I couldn’t if I wasn’t being so diligent in capturing it. This also helps in my food journey, I can see how eating better is affecting me positively, and that helps to keep me on course.

A journal as a conscience
My journal has become my conscience. I don’t like writing in it that I haven’t done anything by way of exercise for the day. I capture classical exercise – going for a run, doing yoga – but also playing football with my son, walking around the neighbourhood, walking my son to school. I also capture my meditation practize here.

My journal has also become my conscience for food. I write down absolutely everything that I eat, even if I cheat. But I don’t like having to write down that I have cheated, so I don’t like to cheat.

My journal template:
I find it easier to stick to following a template for my journal. Habit makes it simpler to see patterns, but to also not have to think about what I will write about, just how I felt and what I did.

Date:                Hours of sleep:
Exercise (including meditation):
Breakfast:
Supplements (if you take any):
Medicine (if you take any):
Lunch:
Snacks:
Dinner:
Stress /10    Pain /10    Energy /10
How did you feel today?:
Thoughts for the day:
What am I grateful for today:


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