How To Write A Journal About Asthma

It's Not As Difficult As You Might Think

When I bring up journaling to patients I am often asked how to write a journal about asthma.

I believe the benefits of writing a journal for your asthma and the overall health benefits have been adequately demonstrated given the relatively low risk of journaling.

Steps To Begin Writing A Journal For Your Asthma

  1. Buy a journal. Here you will have to decide on the traditional pen and paper versus some form of digital journaling. The answer really is whatever works best for you. While I prefer digital journaling, some people will prefer the real feel of pen and paper.

    Despite my poor typing skills, I prefer a digital journal as I can reread more easily, nearly always have a device handy for reading or writing, easily secure content, and can accurately record date, time, and location. The journal can be maintained and secured over years without much trouble.

    Compared to traditional journals, digital journal content is more easily tagged and searchable. Finally, I may never need to learn to be a better typist as voice to text dictation programs are increasingly easy to use and available in digital journaling applications.

    If you prefer an actual physical book to write in, you will need to think about decisions like:

    • How will I secure my journal if needed?
    • Do I want lined or unlined pages?
    • How will I plan to review my journal or indicate pages I want to review in the future?
    • Is pretty more important than functional?
  1. Set aside a time to write. Finding time to write is one of the most difficult issues patients have when beginning to write. I try to make this part of my morning routine. Like exercise, if I do not do this in the morning there is probably only a 1 in 4 chance I will get in done for the day. I try to set some time to review my journal just before bed as part of preparing for the next day and often find myself writing a little more.

  2. Start writing. It is more important to begin writing and develop a habit than what you necessarily write about. The following tips will get you started towards a daily writing habit:

    • Try to write daily. If you regularly set aside time each day it will become a habit.

    • Make it easy. Keep your journal or a piece of paper handy at all times so that you can write when you have a moment or the urge hits you. I find that patients like a number of the apps that are available as desktop programs and also available on a mobile device. I find that this increases the frequency with which people journal.

    • Write whatever you feel like writing. There are no rules. One day you could write about your asthma, the next day you can write about the relationship with your mom. The journal is the place for you to discuss whatever you want. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, or other mistake that may have caused you to fail an English paper at some point in your life.

    • Write freely. I try to write whatever comes to mind. This one is particularly difficult for me as I am not such a good typist and cannot keep up with my thoughts. I also have a bad handwriting making it difficult to review in the future.

    If you cannot think of something to write about consider the following tips to get you started:

    • Write a letter to your future self about your asthma
    • Who are your current best friends? Write about why it might be important for you to get better control of your asthma?
      *Describe your dream day as an asthmatic: job, man/woman, house.What are 5 things that are preventing me from getting better control of my asthma?
    • How can I develop habits that will improve my asthma?
    • Consider choices you have made related to your asthma. Write down an asthma goal and 3 things you can do to accomplish it.

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