Fighting back against chronic pain with a simple, creative, & healthy lifestyle. Inspiring others to become warriors.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Medical Benefits of Bullet Journaling

My bullet journal keeps my life in balance. I have so much in there, from tracking my pain and energy levels, cleaning schedules, to-do lists, and even Christmas gift ideas.

In my weekly spread, I try to keep certain tasks separate. If I know I'm going to devote a phone call to a Debbie Downer, I may make sure to only do one physical thing that day.

If I've got company coming then maybe I skip the workout in favor of cleaning up.

Stop Flying by the Seat of Your Pants

It's a balance, and while this seems simple, most of us are so used to flying by the seat of our pants that we don't feel we have the luxury to stop and think.

It's hard to plan or think ahead if you are a seven or higher on the pain scale. That's why it's so important to keep a bullet journal.
Something that I may not have mentioned in my previous posts about bujo's is the medical benefits of bullet journaling.

We all know that journaling is linked to stress reduction. I argue to actually keep a physical journal, and preferably a bullet journal since it is so customizable. Since it is in 'analog' format (HA!) you are not staring at a screen. Staring at screens is not good for your health.

A 2014 Nielsen report found that adults log a total of 11 hours of screen time a day. Here are some of the ways this might be affecting our health:

Vision.

Staring at a screen for extended periods of time can cause “computer vision syndrome.” You’re probably familiar with the symptoms: strained, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Poor posture can also cause neck and shoulder pain.


Sleep.

Studies link heavy computer and mobile phone use to more sleep disturbances. University of Gothenburg psychologist Sara Thomée, one study's lead researcher, says the blue light from digital devices suppresses the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, keeping us from having restful sleep.


Addiction and reward seeking.

Dopamine, the “feel-good hormone,” is part of the brain’s pleasure and reward circuits. Playing video games turns on similar brain regions as those linked to cravings for drugs and gambling, Ditto for social media — every time we see a new post or get a reaction to ours, it’s like a hit of brain candy.


Weight.

Even two hours of TV a day can increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease in adults. (Computer use doesn’t seem to have as strong a link.) There are probably several factors to blame, including less active time, less sleep, and seeing more ads for unhealthy foods.


So keeping a journal on your phone or tablet is not a good idea. It will be too tempting to check those Facebook notifications, get sucked into hours of screen time, and have negative cerebral consequences.
Another benefit, handwriting!

Handwriting helps with effective memory recall, sharper thinking, creativity, and problem solving.

In fact, handwriting is defined as a complex cognitive process involving neuro-sensory experiences and fine motor skills.

How cool is that?

For a study published in Psychological Science, researchers Pam A. Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of the University of California, Los Angeles, showed research participants a TED Talk and told them to take notes—half of the participants on a laptop, half writing by hand. Then the researchers tested them on the information in the lecture.

What they found was that while keyboard users and hand writers remembered facts, such as dates, equally well, hand writers had a much better grasp on conceptual questions.

Writing things down is also permanent. It will last. You can refer back to it in the future and that makes it easy to reflect on your growth, your goals, and your tasks.

Half of 2018 is almost over but that doesn't mean it's too late to start.  Bullet journals are flexible so they end when you run out of pages and start a new one.  This could be in a few months or longer than a year.

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