Journaling and Gratitude

Remember the good old days when you wrote in your diary (as a kid) and got so much pleasure from it? Why did we ever close that door? Did we mistakenly believe we got too old, too smart or too sophisticated to continue? I’ve discovered that revisiting that simple joy can be life-changing. Here is an example. “Today is a cold snowy day. Looking out the window I imagine it’s the middle of winter…not the middle of autumn, and hope this will bring some lightness to my heart. I notice the tiny icicles on the tree…it must be warming up a little. This will make my daughter happy as the snow will be better for packing at recess. I am grateful for the fun I know she will have.”

This is an excerpt from my journal this week. It’s not my ‘public’ journal, but just a glimpse of how 5 minutes of writing lifts my spirit and helps me find gratitude and joy even on my toughest days. I am a teacher, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend and I could be you. I have metastatic pancreatic cancer. I am receiving ongoing treatment which challenges my every day, but I am choosing to make the most of whatever time I have. One way I do that is through writing.

What makes journaling so great? We can express our thoughts and emotions through journaling, and it has been shown to strengthen an individual’s wellbeing in many ways. According to Harvard Health, “Most studies have evaluated the impact of expressive writing on people with physical health conditions such as sleep apnea, asthma, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, and cancer. Expressive writing appears to be effective for people who are also struggling with ongoing or severe mental health challenges, such as major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.” Expressive writing has been shown to help people relax over time. It has been shown to help people to organize their thoughts and give meaning to a traumatic experience. It can help people break free of rumination and can lead to improved emotional regulation. It’s no surprise it can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Life is busy and we often lose ourselves in the daily grind. Have you found a way to reflect on your daily life? Do you search for ways to find joy in your day? Have you always wanted to journal but don’t know where to start? As I have struggled with a life-changing illness, these were some of the things that challenged me. I would love the opportunity to share my story with you and inspire you to develop some new habits.

I use journaling as a form of creative medicine. My goal is to help you tap into it as well—you can also nourish your soul through writing. With only 5 minutes a day, I can help you find joy and reflect on the moments that matter. You choose your audience—it can be just for yourself, or I can help you share your story with your community. I’m looking forward to seeing you at this exciting workshop.

Date: December 10th, 2019. 7 pm – 9 pm

Where: 4588 Bathurst St. Prosserman JCC.

Tickets: $25. Register here

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