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Journaling Your Way to Wellbeing

Five ways to journal to improve your health and sense of wellbeing

by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN  |  2497 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

I have to admit it: I love journaling, and have done it since I was a child. But writing out your thoughts can be a difficult thing for many people; they may be intimidated by worries about grammar and spelling, it may seem to be too time consuming, or they just don't see the point.

It doesn't matter if you can't spell well. It can take just 30 seconds to write an entry. And it can also be a major factor in helping you to have a better sense of wellbeing, decrease stress, and get a handle on the emotional roller coaster ride. Here are a few ways to use journaling as a health tool:

1.) Emotional Release. Journaling is one of the best ways to cope with emotions. We can't get rid of emotions, and if we don't cope with them in some way they become a ticking time bomb. Trying to suppress emotions and charge through the day can lead to unhealthy behaviors like overeating, drinking too much alcohol, or lashing out at others. Journaling is a private and simple way to get your emotions out. You can be mad, happy, sad, or stressed… it's your journal and no one will read it but you (if you are worried about prying eyes, you can buy a locked journal and hide the key or keep a journal online in a secure folder).

2.) Setting Goals. You can make a journal entry at the beginning of the year to recap your accomplishments and set goals for the new year. You may want to keep your career/business journal separate from your personal ones so you can go back and read the progress over the years. This is one way to stop and see your big accomplishments.

3.) End of the Day Release. Jotting down a few notes at the end of the day is a great way to get that daily emotional release, but also a way to pat yourself on the back at all you accomplish in a day. Work it, Mom! has one of the best tools for this -- the "My Day" feature that comes with your account. You can jot down your thoughts in 30 seconds and either keep it private or share it with others. Writing down your daily notes will do wonders for helping you to feel calm, relieve stress, and feel a sense of accomplishment.

4.) Writing as a Hobby. I know this one may sound strange, but if you love words like me you might consider a journal (or what I call an "empty book"). This is something I have done since grade school. Keep an empty book designated for this hobby and whenever you see a quote you love or a lyric from a song that is empowering, write it down in your empty book. You can even add pictures and other details. This is a great way to keep track of poems, quotes, and lyrics that make you feel great or bring you insight.

About the Author

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian, and a columnist for Work It, Mom! and the founder of Real Living Nutrition Services, an online weight loss program that empowers people to make small changes s

Read more by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN

1 comment so far...

  • Great article! I love journaling but lately I have stopped as I developed this fear that someone will read what I say, either in a hand-written journal or online. I once used to have a couple online journals and then stopped keeping them because I just didn't have time anymore to write at the end of the day. You've inspired me to start again! Thanks for writing!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Debra M. on 9th February 2008