MSK Journaling (Digital)

Journaling for Pain

Journaling is writing about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. You can journal to explore your thoughts and feelings as they relate to your pain. It’s a safe space to help you deal with stress and anxiety, which can improve your mental and emotional well-being. Improving your mental and emotional health can help with your pain.

This article will cover how to choose a journaling method, and how journaling helps. There are also some journaling prompts and tips to help you get started.

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling and writing can help your health in many ways. Studies that show that journaling can improve mood and quality of life, and even quicken healing.

Journaling can also help lower pain. Putting your thoughts and worries on paper can help you feel less anxious and stressed, which both contribute to pain. It’s best to set aside at least 15 minutes on most days to journal. However, if journaling every day feels overwhelming, you can start small with a day or two per week.

Journaling helps to provide clarity. It allows you to express your thoughts and emotions in a safe, secure, and private environment. It will help you shift your focus to positive thoughts, feelings, and experiences and release negative thoughts.

How to Choose a Journal or Journaling Method

The most important factor for choosing a journaling method is how easy and enjoyable it is for you to use. You can use a traditional notebook for your journal, but you can also use your computer or phone. 

However, there are some drawbacks to using electronic methods for journaling. The first drawback is that using these devices close to bedtime exposes you to blue light. Blue light exposure lowers your body’s melatonin production, which makes it harder for you to fall asleep. The second drawback is that you may become distracted by your phone or computer’s other uses. Instead of writing a journal entry, you may find yourself scrolling on social media. 

Because of the limitations of electronic methods, we recommend using a notebook that is dedicated solely to your journaling practice.

If you would like to use a paper journal, see the end of this article for some tips on choosing a notebook and utensil.

How to Journal

First, choose your journal method - a notebook, computer, or your phone. Then, find a quiet, comfortable place. 

We recommend you keep this journal by your bedside or in another place that you visit every day. This will help you remember to use your journal. 

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Use any method that helps you reflect on yourself, your feelings or your thoughts. 

You can journal as often as you would like. But, try to get into a habit by choosing consistent time for journaling. 

No one other than you needs to read this journal. 

You don’t need to write with complete sentences, proper grammar, or correct spelling.

Your entries can be short or long. 

You can draw or use colors in your journal.

You can add quotes, lines, or passages that you already know or find online or in books. You can use them as journal-writing prompts. Here are a few you may like:

Journal Prompts

Below are some prompts to get you started with your journal entries. You can use each prompt as many times as you want or in any order as new thoughts come to you. Or, write about anything that comes to mind. The important thing is to write down what you are thinking and feeling.