For Cancer Center Patients > Managing Emotions
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Keeping a journal, or journaling, is recording your thoughts, feelings, experiences, hopes, fears, etc. You write down the moments of your experience with illness. You may want to work out some of the things you want to say to your doctor, your spouse, or how you will tell loved ones about your illness.
Many people feel that writing thoughts on paper helps them be more organized and focused. Some journalers report that writing down thoughts also helps their emotional well-being.
"Most often we have little control over sufferings that life brings,
but we do have a say about the way we respond.
How we respond can lead us to the fullness of life."
"Don't travel with the idea of reaching a spectacular destination. Look for details and keep yourself open to experience the world as a whole!"
- You need a journal.
Find one that appeals to you and opens flat for ease of writing. Consider if you want it to fit in your brief case, glove compartment, or purse. Most bookstores, as well as stationary stores, carry journals in a variety of styles and price ranges.
- You need a fast-moving pen.
Author and journalist Natalie Goldberg says to keep your pen moving and keep writing and your mind will deliver what it wants to write. Some journalers enjoy drawing in their journals, so you may want colored pencils too.
- Join a journaling group.
Writing and reading with a group can be very therapeutic and rejuevenating. Members share methods of writing and you can learn so much by listening to others read.
- Start an entry with a date and a brief sentence to describe what's happening in your life today. You might want to start with, "Today, I'm grateful for...
- Start with a quote that you heard or have read that struck you as meaningful - Write about an image that comes to mind, "Geese crossing the sky."
- Note how you feel about events, persons, ideas, relationships - What books are you reading? What phrases stand out to you?
- Every week/month, summarize the key events that happen
- Don't struggle. Write fast, write everything that comes to mind. Some days that will be a lot. Sometimes you may be able to only write one line.
- Include photographs, news clippings and notes of world events.
Read good books on journaling.
Select a book from this list as a resource.
"We should write because it is human nature to write.
Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance.
We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. We should write because writing is good for the soul.
We should write, above all, because, we are writers whether we call ourselves that or not."
-- From The Right to Write by Julia Cameron
If I were a bird, I'd be a _____
If I were a color, I'd be _____
If I were a book, I'd be _____
If I were an animal, I'd be a _______
If I were a fish, I'd be a _____
If I were a painting, I'd be ______
If I were a writing instrument, I'd be a _____
If I were a composer, I'd be ______
If I were a doctor, I'd be a ______
If I were a food, I'd be _____
If I were a fabric, I'd be a _______
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be a _______
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