Guest Post By Leslie Johnson
Whenever we talk about journaling, more often than not we talk about the practice of writing down our emotions and thoughts can reap psychological benefits. At the same time, however, we rarely stop to consider how starting different journals can aid us enormously in keeping our physical health maintained. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that our physical and psychological selves are so intertwined, but we choose to separate them for whatever reason, probably societal. When embarking on a goal that is considered something having to do with physical health, keeping a journal helps you emotionally as you introduced changes to your physical body. Here are a few ideas.
1. A Nutrition or Diet Journal.
When I was younger, I had the poorest diet imaginable. I would rarely eat vegetables. I was overweight and felt terrible. When I decided to make a significant change to what I ate, I knew keeping a journal would help. Writing down meals that you are planning on having, what you've eaten throughout the day and how each food made you feel, what you liked the best, etc. This way, you'll be more self-aware about what you enjoy, and the dieting process won't be as stressful.
2. An Exercise Journal.
I don’t know about you, but for me, exercising is one of the least pleasant experiences in my life. At the same time, however, I know that it is good for me and it goes hand-in-hand with eating well. Keeping a journal helps me to keep track of which exercises I've done each week, and writing down how my body feels before, after, and during a workout helps me to remind myself that I do indeed feel better after exercising. It simply helps me stay on track with a routine.
3. A Quit or Cut Back on Drinking or Smoking Journal.
As someone who smoked cigarettes for over a decade, I had a very difficult time quitting. I tried nearly every smoking cessation method out there, but nothing seemed to work. When I started keeping a journal, again, I was daily reminded of why quitting was such a great idea because I could read previous entries to see how far along I had come tapering down on numbers of cigarettes every week or two. It was interesting to read the entries during the "withdrawal" period to see how I passed the physical cravings and felt much better about myself.
These are just a few instances of different ways you can incorporate journaling in order to improve your physical health. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent about keeping a journal in order for it to be effective. Bringing a dash of creativity and enthusiasm into your entries helps immensely, too. It certainly changed my life.
This guest post is contributed by Leslie Johnson, who writes about health, green living, parenting related articles at Masters in Health Administration.