I’ve written elsewhere in this blog about the benefits you can reap from keeping a work journal. This review features a book outlining the benefits of keeping a personal health and wellness journal.
“Challenges are opportunities requesting action.”
With this quote, author Mari McCarthy opens “Journaling Power: How to Create the Happy, Healthy Life You Want to Live.” Formerly a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, her authority comes from her journey with multiple sclerosis and her subsequent discovery of journaling as a means to living a healthy and fulfilled life.
McCarthy wrote Journaling Power to provide a way forward for anyone, whether suffering an infirmity or not, with the tools, knowledge, and inspiration that help to create a contented, health-filled life. Through personal experience and scientific observations, she writes about how and why journaling works.
A friend introduced her to writing therapy (variously referred to as therapeutic journaling or expressive writing). Through a consistent journaling practice, McCarthy noticed her MS symptoms shrinking, especially when she spent time writing about her physical condition. It would be through journaling that she developed a new attitude, one that involved the soul-searching and dedication necessary to bring about tangible results.
Central to the points McCarthy makes is that allowing yourself to experience repressed emotions through expressive writing heals old wounds. And she proves what she says in a chapter devoted to scientific studies. She cites several studies and scientists, especially writing therapy pioneer Dr. James Pennebaker, who found that expressive writing held the power to bring about beneficial effects.
As a result of his investigation into writing therapy, Dr. Pennebaker wrote that people who remained silent about a trauma needed to see a doctor 43 percent more often than those who spoke of it.
(J. Pennebaker and S.K. Beall). Another study found that when people spoke of or wrote about their experience, they often displayed an immediate reduction of stress. Such writing has demonstrated positive effects on those suffering from chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cancer, and lupus. HIV-positive patients who performed expressive writing showed higher white blood counts than patients who weren’t writing. Effects on mental health were equally impressive: expressive writing was shown to have positive effects on patients suffering from depression by increasing emotional wellbeing.
Not all of McCarthy’s book is to be simply read. She encourages readers to begin journaling for themselves through exercises designed to apply the principles outlined in her book. Should readers conscientiously complete the exercises she provides, they may find the power to find their own health and happiness.
Through journaling, it’s possible to celebrate your strengths while examining your challenges, which then allows a sure grounding to achieve happiness and fulfillment. McCarthy says journaling will take you to that sacred space where you find something larger than yourself. It may be where you find God, your higher self, or your subconscious desires.
McCarthy makes a plea for greater publicity of the benefits of therapeutic writing so that more people can be helped. After all, journaling costs next to nothing, is simple to perform, and can be practiced by nearly anyone. Further publicity, she says, will get the word out to more people about its benefits.
In winding down the book, McCarthy says, “… I want you to know that you deserve success and that it is achievable, one step at a time.” Through journal prompts and her personal story, she encourages her readers to begin that journey for themselves.
Published by Hasmark Publishing
Copyright 2016 Mari L. McCarthy
Print Length: 146 pages
About the author
Mari L. McCarthy, Founder and Inner Work Tour Guide of CreateWriteNow.com shows health-conscious people how to use Journaling For The Health Of It®️ to heal the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual issues in their tissues and to know and grow their true self. Besides penning the multi-award-winning Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live, she has written several other books including Heal Your Self With Journaling Power and 14 Days of Journal Magic for Writer. She also created 20+ Journaling For The Health Of It® workbooks including:
- 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness
- 21 Days Declutter Your Life Journaling Challenge
- 22 Days Life Transitions Journaling Challenge
- Who Am I?
- Take Control Of Your Health In 24 Days
McCarthy also offers individual coaching sessions.
Find her online at: