Tag-Archive for » chronic pain «

+ Journaling for Mind, Body benefits – Guest post by Gemma Philips

How Journaling reduces stress
Recent scientific studies have backed what has long been known in Eastern philosophy since ancient times: holistic practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation lower stress hormone levels, lift our mood, and boost our academic and work performance. If you are already well versed with the many benefits that meditation can bring to your life, you might consider adopting a complementary activity, which will only enhance the relaxing effects of meditation. It’s called journaling, and it is currently a therapy that is encouraged in a variety of settings – including centers for rehabilitation for drug abuse, for eating disorder recovery and for the treatment of stress-related conditions such as depression and anxiety. Journaling is also used for patients which chronic health conditions, including cancer, asthma, chronic pain, insomnia, etc.

How does Journaling differ from diary writing?
Far from merely recording the events of the day, as is the case with diary writing, journaling goes a step beyond, in that it involves writing down our thoughts and feelings which are our reactions to the day’s events. In this way, we can get to know ourselves better – find out what triggers stress or anxiety, note down the way we tend to react to conflict or difficult issues, and jot down alternative, more positive reactions the next time we encounter a similar situation.

What benefits does journaling bring?
Some of the many benefits of journaling include:

  • Helping us deal with stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Helping us deal with challenging events and circumstances
  • Helping us ‘metabolize’ our experience – when we do not journal, we can simply block any unpleasant thoughts or emotions, which are transformed into a muddled memory we obtain little value from. Journaling helps us process the day’s events, so that we are not plagued by distressing thoughts and feelings. In this way, journaling very much resembles mindfulness.
  • Helping us track our progress – we can use our journal to create strategies to deal with difficult situations, and take note of how we are progressing in our goals.
  • Identifying triggers – journaling regularly enables us to identify the situations or people that tend to make us anxious or upset. We can analyse how they manage to have this effect on us, and either make a conscious decision to process their words and actions in a different manner, or take more drastic measures if necessary (such as limiting the amount of time we spend in these types of situations, especially if they are toxic or bring no good to our lives).

What Types of Journal are there?
Ultimately, each of us defines and creates our own type of journal. Some people find success from keeping a gratitude journal – in which they regularly list down the things, people and events they are thankful for. Others (such as those in recovery from substance abuse, for instance) keep a recovery journal, to help track their progress, triggers and setbacks. Still others keep a journal to note their progress towards a defined goal. Another popular journal is the evening reflection journal, which enables the writer to reflect on their reactions to a specific event.

How to Journal?
Journaling ultimately only works if we are truly committed to it. The aim should be to write daily, or every couple of days, for a set amount of time (between 20 minutes and around half an hour at least). If you are considering starting a journal, find a comfy, quiet spot in your home, where you won’t be bothered by noise. Make this area as personal as you can – fill it with lights, put on relaxing music or decorate it so that just the idea of journaling seems immensely appealing. Every few days, go back over previous entries to reflect on them. During the day, use your phone or keep a small notebook, jotting down any important thoughts or feelings you may otherwise forget. Remember that journaling is a reflective exercise; use your journal to become more self-aware and to make the necessary changes you need for a better quality of life.

Further Reading:
Journaling as an Aid to Recovery, Recovery.org
Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress, Health.Harvard.edu
Yoga, Umm.edu
Journaling for Mental Health, Urmc.Rochester.edu
The Benefits of Journaling, UWhealth.org

If you like this page share it with your friends. 

Yoga and Meditation – Dec 12 Class

The seventh monthly class at Venture Inward was done on Dec 12, 2016 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Six new people attended. Summary of feedback  is shown below.

Scanned images of the feedback forms

I came to know about this seminar from 

Venture Inward newsletter/Flier – 3
A flier at Upstate Acupuncture on 9 & 20 – 2
From CS

I will practice this technique for my (concern)

Sleep problem
Personal use
Chronic pain
Stress reduction and quicker falling asleep
stress during work

My ‘Take home’ points

911 technique

Seminar evaluation

Very satisfied – 3
Satisfied – 2
Not satisfied – 1 (2)


This was a refresher since doing the class 3 years ago.
Expect to use daily.
Never got to gentle Yoga part. (2)

I recommend this seminar to (specify the group with contact details if possible)

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 4

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 4

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 4

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.
(2) I made an offer of a free solo class of one hour to all the participants at my office as I could not do the Yoga part for several reasons.

Related pages: Public Seminars

If you like this page share it with your friends.

Category: Relaxation to Meditation  Tags: , , , ,  Comments off

@ Seminar at Albany Memorial Hospital for Diabetes Support Group

I offered the first seminar at Albany Memorial Hospital (AMH) for the Diabetes Support Group on June 5, 2013 from 6 to 7.30pm. This was set up by Marcy Pickert form AMH Diabetes Education Group. Attended by total 15 adults –  either diabetes patients or their family members. A set of my key handouts (1) was distributed to every participant. 

Scanned images of the Feedback Forms

Summary of the Feedback

This seminar is …

  • Very useful – 11
  • Useful – 3
  • Somewhat useful – 1

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Agitated moments, Sleeping.
  • Help with sleep & Relaxation (Control less worries).
  • Insomnia, Relieving stressful situation, Helping with stress at work.
  • To help me fall asleep faster.
  • Sleeplessness, Sporadic or interrupted sleep.
  • Try to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning.
  • Work, Relax when facing a new or difficult task at work.
  • Relaxation.
  • Stress management and arguing less, Stop and think.
  • Stress and losing control.
  • High blood pressure, Anxiety and frustration of dealing with diabetes.
  • Relieve chronic pain for my hands. Pinched ulnar nerve in Mar 2010. Hands have not been normal since then.
  • To cool off after getting fired up.

Comments about the seminar 

  • Very relaxing.
  • Interesting relaxation technique (s).
  • I am looking forward to the results.
  • Speak lower as I was getting too relaxed.
  • You were very well understood. Demonstrations were useful. These should be given to high school students especially scholar athletes who need rest.
  • Very well presented.
  • Very enlightening – It shall work.
  • Rather repetitive techniques are common knowledge but presenter was very enthusiastic.
  • Very friendly and welcoming. One hardly thinks of managing such a basic process. But I will try diligently. He reminds me of Feldenkrais.
  • Interesting. No microphone.
(1) Documents for download – All handouts

If you like this page share it with your friends.