February 2, 2011
Speaking of journaling…
In a recent issue of Ode Magazine, David Servan-Schreiber sings the praises of journaling in his article: “Words that heal.” He sites a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that writing can have a positive impact on physical symptoms. Patients suffering from asthma and rheumatoid arthritis were urged to write down “their problems or simply their plans for the day.” Writing for 20 minutes for three days in a row over the course of four months actually improved their symptoms and brought relief! “If a pill could have such an effect after three doses, no physician in the world would fail to prescribe it to her patients.”-DSS
“Writing for medical purposes is a time-honored way of treating post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive conditions.” Putting the words on the paper can bring considerable relief. Often when a patient will say: “I have no words to describe what I’ve experienced,” the written word may express what speech cannot.
The author has great respect for the “private journal.” He mentions Julia Cameron‘s “Morning pages” from The Artist’s Way. The exercise is a daily 3 pages of spontaneous stream-of-consciousness writing “immediately upon awakening” to unblock one’s creativity.
To get started with your journal there are three simple rules:
- Keep your journal strictly personal.
- Be honest with yourself.
- Update it on a regular basis.
Write at a time and length that suits you. And then commit to your chosen schedule. With “discipline and dedication, you’ll soon find that the journal itself takes over.”-DSS