Posted August 29, 2017 by Mike Mineo in Features

Why Keeping a Health Journal Is Healthy

Things about keeping a health journal you didn’t know

It’s not easy to make it your habit to take care of your own health. Usually we start doing it after we start experiencing certain health issues.

You know how it is: one fine day you decide to have a healthy lifestyle and at first, you are very motivated to mend your ways. You swear you are going to get rid of all unhealthy habits and substitute them with healthy ones. But after a short while you notice that you keep forgetting about one important thing or another. Or even (let’s face it: this happens to all of us) get too lazy to do your workouts.

You’d be surprised, but a simple thing like a health journal can really help you to be more consistent.  And it’s not just about the fact that it will make you a more organized person and won’t let you forget about many important things you’ve planned. The thing is, the very process of keeping a journal is good for your health

So why keeping a journal is good for your health?

  1. Keeping a journal can significantly improve your health: expressive writing normalizes your sleep and your blood pressure, your immune system starts working better and even injuries heal faster.
  2. Keeping a journal empowers your T-cells (immune system cells). Thanks to this, your mood and your social activity improve.

    In fact, the list of positive effects of journal keeping can go on and on. You can look up this Wikipedia article on writing therapy to learn more: en.wikipedia.org. You literally use writing to heal yourself and by making sure you write regularly; you will also follow your own plan for your healthy lifestyle. A win-win scenario.

Health journal writing advice

  1. Use pen and paper

Yes, modern world is about touch screens and keyboards. But in fact, pen and paper have more advantages when it comes to keeping a journal. Handwriting keeps us from attempts to constantly edit what we write. You may not feel comfortable with this at first, but after a while you’ll find that handwriting is actually very rewarding. Besides, it’s a great way of improving writing skills.

  1. Set a reasonable limit

Think of how much time you can spare every day. Even if it’s no more than 5 minutes, it will still be great. Limited time will make you focus on your writing goals.

  1. There’s no need for professional writing

If you think that everything you write in your journal must be as deep, elaborate and clever as your bee writing paper, you are mistaken. That’s not the best tactics for journal keeping because it’s addressed to someone else and not to you personally. You don’t have to flaunt your great writing skills; you just need to write whatever comes to your head.

  1. Don’t edit

One of your goals as a person who keeps a health journal is to get to know yourself better. Your journal notes aren’t articles. No one is going to check it for mistakes or make sure if you used a right source. When you edit, you start focusing on the form and not on your feelings and thoughts.

  1. Do your journaling in the same place, every day

No, you don’t have to lock yourself in a high tower, but you must have a special place where you can write things down in your journal. Again, this helps focusing on your inner self.

  1. Read your old notes after a while and make new ones

After a certain period of time passes (let’s say, a year), read your old notes to see what kind of progress you’ve made, what things you’ve lost and which ones you’ve gained. You can actually find some valuable ideas you’d want to write down again. This method helps a lot when you face some challenges. You can see how you dealt with different issues in the past and may find new ways to deal with them at present.

  1. Keep your journal away from others

Find a safe place where you can keep your journal. To make it as effective as possible, you must write things that may be deeply intimate – things no one else must read.

Your personal health journal is not a letter to some other person. It’s not a document by which others may judge you. Your health journal is for yourself only. It reflects your failures and your success and helps you to become a better person, both mentally and physically.


Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].