Updated: Nov 16
Journaling, it turns out, is not just for love-sick teenagers. It's actually a powerful tool that can help you understand and manage your thoughts and emotions. If you're dealing with infertility, I highly recommend that you start your own fertility journal. Here are 6 reasons why:
1. You can vent about anything infertility related!
Sometimes the very best listener turns out to be a piece of paper. It won’t try to reason with you, it won’t contradict you, it won’t get offended by anything you say, and it will keep everything you tell it confidential.
When you have a lot to get off your chest and no one is around to listen, or you sense that everyone might be tired of listening, or you’re just not getting the response you need, pick up your journal and start writing!
2. Journaling can reduce your stress and anxiety while you’re trying to conceive.
When you write about your feelings and experiences, you will become more familiar with the thoughts, ideas, and situations that trigger your feelings of stress and anxiety. And as the saying goes, “knowing is half the battle.” Once you know what they are, you can work on ways to either avoid or manage them.
3. You can also eliminate repetitive worry when you journal.
Repetitive worry is when the same negative thought(s) runs through your head on a constant loop. These are the sorts of worries that tend to keep us awake at night and that often play out as negative self-talk.
But journaling about them gives you power over them.
When you see your worries on paper, you’re able to analyze and question them, and quite often you will find that there is no concrete evidence that supports your negative thoughts.
4. A fertility journal can help you organize your thoughts.
Sometimes our thoughts get tangled up in a ball of emotion and it’s really hard to think logically. Putting your thoughts to paper helps you see them clearly, which in turn can help you take clear action. For example, through journaling you might realize that you’ve got some questions you’d like your doctor to answer; or maybe you figure out a good way to communicate the sort of support you need from your partner; or maybe you craft the perfect answer to nosy questions about when you’re going to have a baby.
5. A fertility journal can help you problem solve.
Problem solving can be a natural outgrowth of organization. When you’ve got a clear picture of the problem that needs solving, next steps frequently present themselves. And if they don’t, at least you now know what questions you need to answer.
6. Journaling for fertility can help you cultivate a positive mindset, making you feel more relaxed and in control.
This can happen either directly or indirectly. You might choose to intentionally cultivate a positive mindset through gratitude journaling. But even if you don’t use your journal in that way, studies show that people who keep a journal have a greater sense of wellbeing and calm.
A couple of other small fertility journaling tips:
How often should you write in your journal?
There’s no hard and fast answer. Some people like to journal every day, while others find that takes too much time and just write a couple of times a week. Consistency is really the key. Commit to whatever you think you can manage and stick with it.
Is it better to write or type your journal?
My personal feeling is that it’s better to write your journal long-hand. Several studies show that writing by hand activates more parts of the brain and allows us to better understand and connect with what we write. And I know that at least for me, I’m way better at organizing my thoughts on paper.
But obviously it takes longer to write long-hand, and there is always a chance that your journal could be read by someone who’s not meant to see it.
So if you’re more inclined to stick with journaling on your computer, then go for it!
If you’re not quite sure what to write about, check out these 10 fertility journal prompts to get started.