Dear Diary….

The grown up version of a teenage diary, journaling is a great way to connect your thoughts and tune in to how you are feeling on a daily basis. Although difficult at first, eventually you will find yourself writing page among page effortlessly. Journaling allows us to express our deepest fears, saddest sorrows, and greatest accomplishments in an open non-judgmental format.

Writing quickly frees your brain from “shoulds” and other blocks to successful journaling. If it helps, pick a theme for the day, week or month (for example, love, confusion, change or anger). The most important rule of all is that there are no rules!

All you need is a pen and paper, nothing too fancy to start! Online journaling resources such as Penzu and Penmia can be used for those who may feel more comfortable typing rather than writing. Also in this format, assistive devices can be utilized in order to journal more freely and openly without the struggle of pen and paper. Even a voice recorder or video recorder could assist with journaling!

By journaling routinely you will get to know what makes you feel happy and confident. You will also become clear about the situations and the people in your life. Journaling about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health. Journaling about anger, sadness and other painful emotions helps to release these feelings. By doing so, you will feel calmer and better able to stay in the present.

Tune into yourself. Journaling can benefit individuals with MS, by connecting the mind and body. Journaling about a symptom creates awareness around the symptom; when did it start, what you were doing when it started, and did anything make it better or worse. Symptom tracking through journaling is an effective way to help manage your MS.

Through your expressions you’ll discover that your journal is an all-accepting, nonjudgmental friend. And may provide the cheapest therapy you will ever get. Best of luck on your journaling journey!

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About Samantha Schech

I am a Client Service Specialist here at MSAA. I have my Master's Degree in Social Service from Bryn Mawr College, a school just outside of Philadelphia. Originally from the Baltimore area, I am a huge Baltimore sports fan and am often heard cheering for the Ravens and Orioles. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, traveling, and playing kickball with my friends in an adult sports league.

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