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Journaling: Keeping Track of Your Feelings and Thoughts

We all face cancer differently. How you respond to your disease, and how you move through your cancer journey is up to you. Writing in a journal is just one way to express your feelings and confront your cancer.

A journal is a book, notebook, or any collections of written thoughts. It can include feelings, opinions, beliefs, hopes, fears, reflections and more. By recording your thoughts in a journal, you can release the power your emotions hold over you and free you from being consumed by them. In addition, keeping a journal will help you find and heal forgotten pain, detect subconscious feelings and enhance your life by giving you the means to discover the hidden gift that every crisis brings. It is also possible that reliving our best experiences through writing can help retrieve those good feelings and emotions. Keeping a journal may help you get through each day, face the tough issues and possibly start a new life.

Not everyone is comfortable with self-disclosure. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Pick out a diary or blank notebook. A loose-leaf version will allow you to add photocopied pages.
  • Try to journal at least four days a week.
  • A quiet journaling session in the morning may help to soothe, compose and give you balance throughout the day.
  • Always journal when you notice your mind is “racing.”
  • Make time…because you’ll never find time.
  • Keep a pen with you.
  • Use a different colored pen or highlighter to mark your most important thoughts.
  • Don’t lose the opportunity to journal in different locations. Carry your journal with you to treatment centers, doctors’ offices, hospitals and wherever you travel.
  • Do not make your journal a to-do list or record just the events of the day. This is about feelings.
  • Write quickly so that revelations about you make themselves known.
  • Don’t censor yourself. Be free. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation or spelling.
  • When you are done with one journal, buy another one!