Journaling can be a powerful coping skill for those living with pain.
It acts as a distraction and activates the creative parts of your mind, in a sense “pulling energy away” from the parts of your mind so very focused on your pain- where it hurts, how much, how much it will feel, etc., etc., etc.
developing a powerful tool to help us live with our pain: learning to disrupt, at will and at length, the mind’s habitual “preoccupation ” with the sense and signal of pain.
There are a number of ways to engage this coping skill of distraction mindfulness and meditation to coloring ( yes, coloring like a child…think of those “adult” coloring books you see popping up in stores and there are as well coloring apps).
Journaling is a very personal and open-ended activity. There are any number of journals from artist’s pads & blank books to very fancy art museum quality journals available. There are also a world of writing tools from glorious, just-sharpened, pencils to the basic ballpoint pens, fountain pens and Microns to colored pencils and markers.
It is just important to make the activity enjoyable and easily accessible (as we never know when our pain may flare up and significantly limit us) by getting the items we need organized and together in one place.
For some it even becomes a routine as in journaling daily in the morning to ” capture” ones dreams, to take note of one’s reading’s insights and meaningful passages/quotes (reading- another fine form of distraction) or nightly as a form of prayer practice. Many great writers are in the habit of writing daily at a set time and in a set place…who knows you may find yourself writing the next great novel. There are really an infinite number of ways to journal but finding what works for you, what you enjoy is the key.
Along those lines you may find this class, found on a delightful, spiritual resource on the internet, The Daily Om, helpful to get your journaling off the ground and started. This particular class is easy as it’s a once a week, via e-mail, and brief, a journal reading followed by an activity that focuses on processing and growing from, in a, obviously, personally enriching manner.
It is written by a writer, Catherine Ann Jones, who is an accomplished (including Broadway plays and program series’ for television) and award-winning (National Endowment of the Arts, Fulbright), well-respected, playwright. She has written a number of books as well including “Heal Yourself with Writing” (a Nautilus Book Award, 2014). She has taught writing on any number of occasions including at USC and at both the Esalen and Omega Institutes.
perhaps it is or will prove to be a valuable coping skill in you pain management repertoire. Heck, as we well know, anything is worth a try if it would but just turn down the pain volume, even if for only a time.