How I Have Benefited From Keeping a Health Journal

Recently, I found myself being very discouraged in my health journey. The days seemed to be blurring together, and I was beginning to feel like every day was simply an endless array of symptoms, pain, and medications. Because of this, I decided to start my own health journal to keep track of the days and reflect on them. I figured it would be beneficial, but at the time, I had no idea just how much of an impact it would have on me.

I started by getting a blank journal and recording things that were specific to my health. I wrote down things such as any symptoms I was experiencing that day, my mood, what I ate and how I felt after, any medications I took that day, my pain level and how I felt overall. At first, recording these things seemed tiresome and repetitive. It was even frustrating reflecting on the days and seeing the pages were full – full of symptoms and pain and medications. In the beginning of my health journal, I found myself feeling even more discouraged than before I started. I wanted to call it quits.

But suddenly, something changed. About two weeks into my journaling process, I was flipping through it and noticed just how much the days fluctuated. There were days when there almost wasn’t enough room on the page to hold all of my pain and symptoms. But every so often, I would have days when the page was bare, only a few symptoms and barely any medications. I began to realize that by keeping this journal I wasn’t just keeping track of the bad days, I was documenting the good ones too.

Furthermore, I came to understand that keeping a health journal helped me learn to appreciate the good days more, because I was able to recognize them more easily. It can be fairly simple to become discouraged with your health and overlook the good days because they are so few and far between in comparison to the bad ones. We often let the good days get lost in the never-ending line of bad pain days, but my health journal showed me that they’re there, and they are well worth celebrating.

I would encourage anyone struggling with their health to keep a journal. It can make you feel less distressed and discouraged, and it can help you to better appreciate the value of each day by showing the good within the bad. It also ensures that you don’t forget that there are good days, when the pain is a little bit less and the joy is a little bit more. These days are worth acknowledging and celebrating, no matter how few and far between they may be.

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Thinkstock photo via iprogressman.

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