[Wellness Journal Template] Eat Better, Sleep More and Stress Less by Writing Things Down
Welcome to Community Voices! With these special blog posts, we’re very excited to welcome a handful of health enthusiasts from the Activation Family to share their experiences and some of the discoveries they’ve made on their own personal journeys to better health. We hope you’ll be able to connect, relate and grow alongside our community writers.
For me, journaling is a way to relax at the end of a long day. Between pouring out my feelings, bullet journaling or writing various types of lists, I do a lot of different kinds of writing to help myself unwind.
Not only do I find list-making and journaling extremely calming, but I often feel more motivated and organized after getting my thoughts on a page or writing out my to-dos in a numbered list.
Apparently, I’m doing something right! Reader’s Digest Best Health says that studies have found that “emotional or expressive writing can reduce high blood pressure, enhance immune function, decrease the severity of asthma and arthritis symptoms, promote wound healing […] and even help young people quit smoking.”
I’ve only just recently discovered wellness journaling, but as soon as I heard about it I knew I had to try it. An activity that could bring me relaxation and help me pay attention to my overall health? Sign me up!
You may be wondering, what is wellness journaling? Actually, it can be a variety of things, depending on what you want to get out of it.
As your resident how-to girl, I’m here to help you get started. First, let’s talk about why journaling, in general, can be great for you.
Journaling for the soul
Writing down your experiences and adventures is a great way to preserve memories to look back on in your future. Aside from that, documenting emotional experiences may also benefit your health.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health tells us that “for 25 years, there has been evidence-based research conducted on the correlation between writing down stressful life experiences and positive physiological changes. These benefits can include increased immune-system functioning, symptom reduction in disease severity, and a sense of release and closure from troubling events of the past.”
If you’re feeling a bit anxious, your journal can be available any time of the day. If your mind is racing at 2 a.m. your journal is there to hold your thoughts.
Daily journaling, according to Good Housekeeping, can actually help you get better sleep, which is the key to a healthier lifestyle. Writing down your thoughts and emotions can help clear your mind, allowing you to unwind and avoid a racing mind keeping you awake at night.
The benefits don’t stop there! Elizabeth Broadbent, professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand told Scientific American that her study demonstrated that “writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.”
Scientific American also tells us that “Long-term emotional upset can increase the body’s levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which impedes the immune system. A paper in September in the British Journal of Health Psychology indeed found that writing about an emotional topic lowered participants’ cortisol levels.”
Managing your stress, anxiety and day-to-day life through journaling is a great way to calm your emotions and feel more organized. That’s not all wellness journaling can do for you, though. You can also add notes about your physical state and habits to your wellness journal that can help launch you down a path of better health.
Journaling for better health
If you have trouble keeping your bad habits in check, forgetting to drink enough water or occasionally having one too many treats, focusing part of your wellness journal on health is a great way to track it all.
Chronicling what you eat, your exercise, when you’re feeling under the weather, skin reactions and your sleep habits can really help you understand what works for you and what doesn’t.
Wellness Mama says that this kind of journaling will help you notice patterns. “If you occasionally get allergy symptoms, skin rashes, have trouble sleeping or other minor health troubles, keeping a journal will help you notice factors that cause your symptoms. You might notice that you don’t sleep well after eating certain foods, forgetting to take magnesium or watching TV late at night or that you sleep better when you spend time in the sun, drink enough water, or read a book before bed.”
You’re more likely to pinpoint any foods that your body doesn’t respond well to if you’re keeping track of what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. If you’re not paying attention to your body in this way, you’re less likely to determine what’s working.
This goes for more than just food. I often notice people at the gym writing things down and now I know why! Bodybuilders often track their exercises in order to see improvements and replicate success but you don’t have to be a competitive athlete for this to work for you.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what you should be recording and how it can help you emotionally and physically, you may be wondering where to start. I’ve got some great tips to get you on the path to wellness journaling.
How to journal successfully
I know this may sound silly, but having a notebook that is expressly for the purpose of wellness journaling is important. The notebook you jot down your grocery list in should be separate from your wellness journal. You should also spend a bit of time choosing the right journal or template. Your journal should feel like you. It should be a place where you want to record your thoughts, feelings and habits.
When it comes to the health section of your journal, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health says that it’s important to start your wellness journaling by envisioning and recording what you see when you picture a healthier you. This will help you focus on the changes you’re hoping to make in order to accomplish your health goals.
It’s also important to be honest in your journal. This journal is meant only for you, so don’t feel shy or embarrassed about the things you’re writing down. Being honest with yourself is the first step to growth, change and acceptance.
Finally, journaling daily is the best way to track patterns and feel better fast.
The easiest way to get your journaling going is to find a template that works for you. I’ve created a template to make getting started with wellness journalling easy. Share this post below and get it, free!
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Guest Blogger: Molly Kett
Molly is a 23-year-old writer for Activation Products, with a passion for natural health. In her spare time, Molly enjoys hiking, camping, reading and attempting DIY projects. She looks forward to sharing her how-to skills and bringing you new recipes and wellness activities to try. Her favorite Activation Products include Coriander Oil, Styrian Pumpkin Oil and Black Cumin Oil.