I Tried Journalling, and Now I Don't Get Sick

Sacha Strebe

About two years ago, after relocating to Melbourne, I was constantly getting sick. Over the span of a year or two, I was plagued with everything from a recurring earache to razor-sharp sore throats to debilitating chest infections. At my worst, I was bedridden for a week with a swollen face and aches all over. My doctor suggested it was a hay-fever attack, but now, looking back, I know exactly what it was: I wasn’t being kind to myself. My internal speak was destroying me, both physically and mentally.

I have always been a highly sensitive and emotional person. My husband tells me I’m my own worst enemy, and he’s right. I put pressure on myself to be perfect, from the way I look at how I perform; I feel like a failure when I get the littlest thing wrong; I get upset with myself when I work too late and can’t squeeze in a workout; I feel everything my son feels even though it’s just part of him growing up. I am always striving to be everything to everyone, and until now, it was destroying me, literally. Then my sister started practicing kinesiology (exercise science) and introduced me to the concept of freeform, or what some people refer to as journalling. This simple technique has completely changed my life.

In short, freeform is the process of writing down and releasing all the negatives you don’t realise you hold inside. It could be anything: an argument with your partner, an altercation with a friend, the stress of a big deadline at work, or not feeling good about yourself. In the fast pace of modern life, we’re often so busy that we push our feelings aside or keep them to ourselves. It isn’t until we start getting sick that we eventually recognise them. Before it gets to that stage when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office or at home in bed, take the time to slow down and explore how you feel inside. Sometimes you don’t even know what it is until you start writing it down.

Anytime I start feeling a little off, maybe a sore throat or my ears start aching, I immediately grab a pen and start writing to release it. For instance, I might write, “I release all negativity and pain” or “I let go of all doubt and forgive myself for…” Obviously, I can’t say for sure why, but truly, I don’t get sick anymore. And it’s not just me. In a recent Instagram post, Jonathan Van Ness of Netflix’s hit Queer Eye told fans that journalling had helped him with stress and skin concerns.

“Realising I’ve been psoriasis flare free for 6 months, one thing I’ve started is gratitude journalling bc of @ruthielindsey and I’m not a doctor but I think it’s helped my stress levels & my skin,” he wrote. He continued, “But if I get a flare again she still works it so either way we cool.” While I still struggle with my internal battles (don’t we all?), freeform gives me a great awareness of these negative thoughts and allows me to rid myself of them before they have a physical effect. 

Scroll down to find out how you can benefit from this impactful, simple tool too.

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