Journaling your thanks

Grateful for gorgeous sunrises (capture by OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA)

Supposed to write this morning in my journal about things I’m grateful for (started this post a year ago!). Got that idea after reading that in a big study of nuns conducted somewhere some years ago, researchers instructed the nuns to write in journals everyday. Then they followed the nuns for several years to record the state of their health during all that time. Turned out, as I recall, the nuns who thought, and therefore wrote, a lot about being grateful had significantly better overall health than those who thought and wrote neutrally or negatively.

So then later I read The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Greater Creativity, in which author Julia Cameron insists that if you want to nourish your creative self, you must write every day at least three handwritten pages in your journal. So there I had my formula: write every day for 3 pages and make a lot of it about my gratitude for the good in my life.

And what about today’s kids who are not being taught cursive handwriting? Handwriting triggers entirely different brain areas than keyboarding and printing.

I keep a journal, some months on, some years off. Would like to say I was religious about this self-imposed obligation, but the fact is, life interferes at times and sometimes I’m just not in the mood. But when I do, it really makes a difference in how I feel. Centering. Calming.

That’s what I need. Going in for never-been-done-before surgery on my neck next week. Calm. Centered. Keeping it together.





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