How Writing Can Help Us Make Healthier Choices
by Steph Beth Nickel
Please note that the following insights are for information purposes only. Getting professional help (a personal trainer, a counsellor, a financial advisor, etc.) is often an important step to making healthier choices in every area of life.
Most people give at least some thought to their physical, emotional, and mental health—to one degree or another. Those of us who are Christian likely give thought to our spiritual health as well—perhaps, prioritizing it over health in other areas. And then there’s relational health, financial health, etc.
Just how can writing help us improve our health in every area?
Before we dive in, let’s remember one very important thing: we can’t give equal attention to every area of health at the same time. That, in itself, would cause ongoing stress, which is not good for our health in any area.
You may want to begin by writing down your goals and setting a reasonable timeframe in which to achieve each of them. Keep track of successes, both big and small.
Goal: Develop a habit of exercising for a total of 150 minutes each week by the end of 2023.
This Week’s Goal: Exercise for 30 minutes twice this week.
Success: Took a 30-minute walk on Monday.
August’s Goal: Exercise for 30 minutes twice a week for the first week and 30 minutes three times a week for the remainder of the month.
I have a journaling app on my phone. On more than one occasion, my entry simply read, “Ahhhhhhhhh!”
Journaling about your feelings, especially those often labeled “negative,” where others aren’t going to read your thoughts can be a helpful way of acknowledging and beginning to process them.
Of course, mental health and emotional health are closely linked. If you make it a habit of tracking how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking, you may be able to discern a pattern and take steps to improve both your emotional and mental health. And remember, everyone needs a support system. Talking with a therapist, a counsellor, or another professional can go a long way to developing resilience, which we all need.
Here are six ways writing can help in this area:
- Journal your prayers. This can keep you from getting distracted. Plus, it’s a great idea to review your prayer journal and make note of answered prayers.
- Many have found that keeping a gratitude journal can help them focus on the positive—even in the darkest of days.
- Take notes while you listen to a sermon, message, or podcast.
- Summarize your Bible reading in a brief paragraph.
- Keeping track of your spiritual growth can be an encouragement to you. Plus, one day, you may be able to use your words to encourage others on their own journey to spiritual health.
Tools to Use
- A note-taking app on your phone
- A journaling app on your phone (I have the paid version of the Day One Journal, which is extremely versatile.)
- A Word doc on your computer
- A physical journal or notebook
- A dictation app on your phone
Let’s make one or two healthier choices this week and consider how writing can keep us on track.
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org;
join her Facebook group:
or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.