Journaling Can Heal Your Life
A health journal is an existence system. It helps you keep your health goals alive and in reality versus swimming around in your head as a fanciful whim. Your health journal will help you keep track of your workouts and how much water you have drank, but mostly it will help you to hold yourself accountable. You might think – as a Naturopathic Doctor – it comes naturally for me to incorporate healthy habits into my life. Well, it would be if I did not keep a health journal. A health journal supports me tremendously in maintaining my healthy habits.
Here are some prompts that will help you get started. Every day briefly write down entries under the following headings:
Remember Your Why: Your “why” has to be strong to pull you forward into healthier habits. What is your why? My why is I want to have a good quality of life and to create and enjoy amazing experiences with my children and their children.
Goals: You need to know where you are going! Some people want to lose 10 pounds of fat, or get their blood pressure to a certain number, or control their blood sugar so that they do not receive a diagnosis of diabetes, and some of us want to look great! Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. : Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Reasonable, and Timely
Diet: Be aware of the food and drinks you choose each day by keeping a diet diary. Write down everything that passes through your mouth. You might be surprised what you discover! You can’t make changes until know what you’re choosing now.
Symptoms: Headache, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, etcetera. Writing them down can help you identify lifestyle habits associated with these symptoms.
Emotions: Irritability, weepy, joyful, etcetera. Pay attention! I had one patient who had no idea that his poor health was contributing to his horrible moods until he got better. His wife has experienced his better moods and wrote me a testimonial. (Please see the testimonial, Sarah C. wrote me, below!)
Dreams: Writing down your dreams improves your memory and gives insight into your subconscious. You may want to write them down first thing in the morning when they are still fresh in your mind. Also write down the dreams you have awake! What is the vision or dream you are holding for yourself. It is healthy to use your imagination.
Weather: You may find your symptoms improve or get worse when it rains or that you feel better in the sun. This is significant information and can give insight into your condition.
Keeping a health journal teaches you to become more aware of yourself and helps you identify patterns and changes in your well-being. Realize the more information you have about your health the more accurate a diagnosis you will get, so consider bringing this health journal to your medical appointments. Keep one for your children until they are old enough to do so themselves.
If you know me, I am obsessed with journals and notebooks. Consider investing in a journal – spend some money on it, it might make you use it more. Maybe you choose a leather-bound one, maybe one with handmade paper, or good quality thick paper, or one with an inspirational quote or picture in the front. I am currently in love with the Happy Planner and the High Performance Planner. I see journaling as self-care and I use both. Find one you like, enjoy it and use it for better health.
Sarah C.’s Testimonial
Dear Doctor Selassie, I am writing on behalf of my husband whom you have asked many times to give a testimonial for your website. Being married for 35 years, I know him well enough, he is not going to. It’s nothing personal, Doctor, he is just busy living his best life since you helped him manage his diabetes. Actually, he is out playing golf right now. He didn’t play last spring because the neuropathy in his feet bothered him too much. Now he’s enjoying himself with his friends. In fact, now that his health is in order, I want to let you know how fabulous our marriage has gotten. It’s like he has a new personality, I am not kidding. He is back to the sweet man he once was instead of the “old miserable crank.” Also, we have our passion back in our marriage. I am looking forward to a trip we are planning for this October to the Bahamas. We haven’t travelled in years. Thanks Doctor, I love you and my husband loves you.
~Sarah, C. Glendale, NY