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Using Journaling to Overcome a Condition

Today I’m proud to share with you a guest post from blogger Melanie Bowen, a part-time contributor to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog. Melanie is passionate about integrative, holistic healthcare and cancer treatments, and believes in using mind, body and spirit in the healing process.

Getting diagnosed with a serious disease such as mesothelioma, diabetes, arthritis, AIDS, multiple sclerosis or any other condition can leave you feeling weak mentally and physically. It can drain your energy and leave you feeling useless. It can even rob you of your hopes, dreams and desires in a way that can only be called tragic. Even with a supporting and caring base of friends and family, it can still remain hard to stay focused in a positive way.

However, there is a simple way that you can focus your desires that doesn’t require a lot of energy: journaling. Keeping a journal is just one way to make your prognosis improve. It may not seem like keeping a journal would do much for you physically.

According to Dr. James Pennebaker of the University of Texas, keeping a journal has real tangible health benefits. Writing and especially journaling were found to actually increase the strength of certain types of immune cells called T-lymphocytes. These immune cells help fight the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker states that writing about stressful events such as serious diseases and their treatments help people come to term with their condition and move on in a healthy and successful way.

Keeping a journal works as a constant reminder on the progress of your disease, your treatment and how close you are to achieving your goals. A constant reminder can help light a fire underneath of you and keep you focused and working hard to achieve those goals. Without the journal, it may be all too easy to let yourself fall behind on your goals. This can lead to depression as you’re reminded of the slow progress of your goals.

Journaling also has benefits beyond being a patient. In fact, you should never focus your journal strictly on your disease and its treatment. This limits you to being defined by your disease and makes you into a victim instead of a human being. Avoid this problem by focusing on a wide range of journaling topics.

Make a bucket list of wild and crazy activities you’ve always wanted to perform. Choose things such as sky diving, traveling to Europe, and watching a bullfight or anything else that is beyond your normal range of activity. A bucket list can be exciting to fulfill and can help remind you of the joy of life and living.

Clearly, keeping a journal is a great way to help fight against a serious condition. Of course, you should never use a journal as a cure or a treatment for your condition. Instead, use it as a way to pull your life away from your disease and back into your welcoming hands. Inspire yourself and inspire others that are dealing with a similar situation to yours as well.

This article is in no way intended to be medical advice or a substitute for medical care. Always follow doctor’s orders!

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