Journaling Your Way Through Menopause
Menopause can be isolating and confusing. Once symptoms take hold, many women find they don’t even recognize themselves anymore. Unreasonable expectations and too many obligations can lead you into a sad and negative mindset, and that can lead to a lot of unnecessary suffering.
While you can’t stop the natural changes from happening, there is a lot you can do to understand them better. Putting pen to paper is one of the simplest ways to take back control; keeping a journal can enhance your creativity, inspire self-confidence, and even fight off the emotional and physical discomforts of menopause. There’s no wrong way to journal, but there are a few tried-and-true goals and techniques to keep your focus firmly on your health as you move through menopause.
How a Journal Can Improve Symptoms
A journal is a direct avenue to better self-knowledge. After all, the act of recording your thoughts forces you to face them, and the written record is a testament to how you’ve dealt with hurdles in the past, and grown through challenges and opportunities. But the advantages of journaling stretch much farther into your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Psychological benefits of journaling are well known, and though they may not be exactly the same for everyone, most people report that journaling leads to:
- Clearer thoughts and feelings
- Better, more creative problem solving
- More empathy and understanding for others
- Less stress
There are surprising physical benefits that come with keeping a daily diary, as well. Although more research is needed, there is evidence to show that regular journaling can result in:
- Stronger immune cells (T-lymphocytes)
- Fewer asthma symptoms
- Milder rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
Journaling isn’t magical, it just has an important cathartic effect. The belief is that writing about stressful events helps you externalize and come to terms with them. Once you finally address your concerns, your brain and body can stop reacting to that stress. But stresses aren’t the only subjects worth writing about: sudden inspirations, thoughts on the day, and assessments of your symptoms or treatment all play important roles in a constructive and therapeutic journal.