In the U.S., one person dies from heart disease every six minutes. To put that into perspective, that’s 240 people per day.
It can thus be hard to live with heart disease, and it’s not difficult to imagine the emotional turmoil a patient can through after can diagnosis. Emotions such as stress, anxiety, and fear can overwhelm them.
Sure, patients can adopt a healthier diet, stop smoking and drinking, and start exercising. That’s the advice they get, but all too often their treatment plans don’t include dealing with the stress and emotions that come with living with heart disease.
Add to that the stress of daily life, and it just makes it worse. One way to curb this stress is to keep a journal. But how can a journal help? This post will look at some of the benefits of journaling through heart disease and how a patient can start journaling.
Benefits of Journaling
Journaling offers many benefits to health in general. Some of these can specifically help patients diagnosed with heart disease. It can:
Too much stress can be detrimental to a person’s health. In patients with heart disease, this stress is higher. Apart from the stress of daily life, they worry about their families, their future, and their health. Journaling can help manage this stress. In fact, a study by Cambridge University shows that journaling for 15 to 20 minutes per day three times a week improves physical and psychological health.
Improve immune function.
With a reduction of stress comes an improvement in immune system functioning. Studies have found that journaling decreases your risk of getting ill and helps you fight off others.
Journaling can improve your overall sense of emotional well-being. It’s an outlet for emotions like fear, uncertainty, and anxiety and, overall, it gives patients a greater sense of happiness. In addition, it can help control emotions and increase confidence.
How to Start Journaling
People often don’t know where to start when beginning journaling. They see it as intimidating and uncertainty overwhelms them. The good news is that there are no rules.
There being no rules, there are many ways to start. Some of the ways are to:
Make a list.
This can be a list of anything. A list of things to do, goals, ambitions. A list of things grateful for is especially helpful as it negates negative thoughts and worries.
Recount the day.
Write down good things that happened during the day down.
Draw a picture.
Remember, there are no rules and journaling doesn’t necessarily mean writing. It can be drawing a picture, a map, or a chart. The most important thing is to express thoughts on paper.
Make it a habit.
10 to 15 minutes per day is enough. Sticking with it will make it easier not only to write but to find things to write about.
Start a Journal Now
Living and coping with heart disease can be tough. Not only does it take a physical toll, but a psychological toll as well. By starting journaling patients can take control of the negative emotions, increase their well-being and be better off for it.