For each day of November, The Chronically Awesome Foundation has asked our friends and members to participate in a writing exercise called #20MinuteTopics. We have asked that you write for 20 minutes a day. We do not care what the topic is, just write. Many of us who are Chronically Awesome are already writers of some sort. We write creatively, we blog, we are keen on journaling daily without any prompting from us or a therapist.
Journaling For Health
Journaling is important. When we journal for 20-minutes a day, we are helping to alleviate symptoms of illness.
Journaling gives us an outlet we may not otherwise have. By emptying our heart and soul onto the pages of our journal we may feel less compelled to do the same elsewhere.
Avoiding Conflict By Journaling
For example, when we find ourselves in a conflict on a social media platform, like Facebook, there is no winning. In fact, there is a higher chance that both parties will lose each other’s friendship. By using our journal, we can write about our views in a place that is safe from what we may feel is an attack on our feelings. By journaling about a conflict, we can avoid the simmering that leads to explosive anger. Ultimately, we can learn to expand our views and see both sides of an argument while at the same time avoiding a situation that leaves all parties and observers free from the misery of the arguing.
TMI And Social Media
Like avoiding conflict, a journal can be useful when it comes to posts about health-related issues. I bet you know that person that treats Facebook as a personal symptom journal. When you write about health matters in your journal, you are able to divulge all of the TMI, in all of its detail, and simultaneously create a record for your doctor to review. Win-Win!
Your friends will be grateful.
If your health-related journal entries seem, to you, to be entries that would be helpful to others, particularly after your doctor has helped you find a resolution, why not create a blog? If you don’t have enough material for a blog-site, let us know! We post blogs by our friends and members all of the time!
We are midway through the month. The topics we have suggested are varied, and, we hope, useful.
From examining your worldview, working out the realities of what makes you the most anxious, to the discussion of goals for better self-care, we hope we are giving you ideas that will help you flip the script on some of the negative self-talk that so often undermines the chronically ill patient’s attempt at becoming Chronically Awesome.
Journaling On Awe
“Look at something beautiful and write about it with fresh, awe-filled wonder?”
About awe, and why it is important
Awe is that feeling of wonder in the presence of something magnificent, grand, or powerful.
Awe inspires emotion.
Sometimes, we grow numb to awe. There is so much around us that the awe-inspiring is lost in all of the noise. However, awe is important.
A sense of wonder and awe add to the expansion of our worldview. This is a benefit to those of us who live with mental and physical illness because it increases our resilience, our ability to bounce back.
Resilience is one of the most important traits we can develop as humans, chronically ill, or otherwise. Like returning to a resting heart rate after a workout, the more efficiently our cardiovascular system bounces back, the healthier we are. The more resilient we are, the more capable we are at managing the things our life throws at us.
When we develop, over time, positive feelings of joy, awe, happiness, and curiosity we learn to thrive rather than just survive.
Longitudinal studies of this theory, called “Broaden and Build” which includes the 20-minute writing exercise have shown success in minimizing doctor visits and other positive health-related outcomes.
Certainly worth a try! Visit the Chronically Awesome Facebook Page to see all of our November #20Minute Topics!
Broaden and Build is a crucial component to the basis of The Chronically Awesome Foundation’s mission and goals. Learn more about us here.