Journal your way to better health. Keeping a journal is a great way to help you during your fight against GIST. A recent article in CancerWise from MD Anderson Cancer Center discussed how journaling can benefit cancer patients. Writing can be very cathartic, and “writing down your thoughts gives you an opportunity to work out your feelings and emotions.”

Writing your thoughts in a journal can help in a number of ways, it can help you sleep better and will help prepare you psychologically to face cancer. The article states that “taking as little as 20 minutes a month for 3 months to write will produce long lasting benefits to your physical and emotional health.”

Here are some of the benefits of Journaling:

  • Look for the positive: Journaling can help you identify positive situations or events that have unfolded due to your cancer diagnosis. You may have been reunited with a loved one, received an outpouring of support from friends, co-workers and family, or been able to warn others about dangerous lifestyle habits. Documenting these areas in writing may help you explore and appreciate them more.
  • Look for what you can control: Journaling can also help you map out and decide what things you can and do have control over and how you can use that knowledge in your life.
  • Find peace in your relationships: Journaling privately can even help with your day-to-day social interactions. Disclosing your deepest feelings in writing might prepare you to have a difficult conversation with a loved one, or it might allow you to simply enjoy your time together without worrying about nagging negative thoughts.

There are a number of methods of journaling, the key is to find the one that works best for you. Remember that there is no such thing as the right or wrong way to journal. Writing is yours, you control it.

  • Gratitude journaling: Simply write down everything you are grateful for. This form of journaling allows you to focus on the positive, and hopefully get your mind off of the negative.
  • Blog: A blog can be your personal spot on the web. Blogging allows you to write or share anything you want, your blog posts can be short snippets of text or really long form writing. The good news is that blogs are easy to set up online for free. Set your own blog up today on Blogger, Tumblr and
  • Stream-of-consciousness writing: There is no such thing as right or wrong with this type of journaling. Simply write down everything that comes to your mind. This is a great way to get your raw thoughts, emotions and observations out..
  • Art journaling: Art is subjective, so even if you have no formal art training this form of journaling can be fun. Draw, take photos, do anything that sparks your creativity.
  • Line-a-day journaling: Write one line of text per day, very simple and straight-forward.

No matter what type of journal you decide to do, just get out there and write.

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