This is an exercise to reduce stress, improve mood, and develop acceptance with chronic illness. It is an experiment I am trying.

It is something I have come up to do for a month and see if it has an effect on how I perceive my life with illness.

It is fundamentally easy. You will do each once a day for a month and see if it helps your perspective. There are three factors, they can be written together in your Health Journal or separately in the day.

Journal exercise- the good and the bad

Complaint list

I want to write a list of all your complaints at this moment, on this day. Chronic illness related, or not. You can include things related to mood, your health, life in general. And you can include realistic worries or unrealistic worries (the ones we have fundamentally no control over). The idea behind this is to have a specific time to write down complaints and worries so we limit the time we give them during the rest of the day. Because they can consume a lot of our day.


  • The vertigo makes it so hard to exist and it makes me so tired all the time.
  • I am financially stressed right now.
  • I am in a good mood, but the vertigo and pain combo makes me miserable.
  • My migraines have been very severe lately and it is hard to deal with
  • I have this thing where I want to solve problems that there is nothing I can do about them.

Response list

This is recommended on very bad days that drag our mood and thoughts down. But it can be skipped on days where you keep pretty good mentally and emotionally.

For this, you are going to respond to everything you listed.

Worries: point out something you can do in the future to help with them.

Unrealistic worries: Acknowledge you cannot do a thing about it so worrying is a waste of time. So tell yourself to just let it be. And to give yourself a limit to worry on it.

Mood: Acknowledge the mood. And say it is fine to have this reaction to pain as long as I do not dwell on it. Also if you have a negative thought you wrote down, replace it with a more realistic thought.

Gratitude list

This one I am going to do end of day. And the first one mid-day. And we know gratitude actually can impact our mood. This is to clear the head of our worries and complaints and focus on things we are grateful or thankful for.


  • I am grateful my spouse brought me home a slurpee since it is so hot in the house.
  • I am glad I was able to work on a few posts for tomorrow in my window of lesser dizziness
  • I am thankful my spouse cooked supper because I was not feeling well at all
  • I am thankful I was able to rest for a good portion of the day and I am thankful I didn’t feel guilty about it.
  • I am thankful for the awesome cat snuggles I got from Charlie today

The challenge is: for every Complaint thing you come up with for your day you have to try and match it to ever gratitude post you make.


Other related posts:

My daily health journal

Gratitude journal: we tend to focus on the negative

Living with chronic pain: Discovering gratitude
Buy Me a Coffee at

6 thoughts on “Journal Exercise: The good and the bad

  1. I do this. I have so many more worries and complaint lists but welcome to the world of chronic illness. But the gratitude journal thing really works and is a good thing on your bad days that you can go back to and remmeber all the happy thigns in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A gratitude journal is great! I try to do it every day. I stay away from confirming any negative thoughts or complaining. DNRS by Annie Hopper has taught me to act and think greater than I feel to rewire my brain. Constantly reinforcing the negative keeps our brain stuck in a negative loop. I highly recommend her program. It’s a minimum 6 month commitment but if you do it it works! Every day is a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

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