Guest Blogger Mandy Halgreen

Journaling to cope with life experiences

A life experience changes our way of thinking about ourselves and where we want to go. A life experience can be a medical diagnosis or an actual event we were involved in or saw. The experiences change the way we look at the world and ultimately ourselves.

I remember feeling angry, depressed and scared when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I didn’t know how to explain it to my family.

They blamed me and made me feel that I could have stopped it or taken better care of myself. Unfortunately, I had done nothing wrong. I hadn’t abused my body, a virus attacked my body and initially, the misdiagnosis allowed it to go ‘dark’ while damaging my pancreas. In a way, I was lucky that my doctor was also a diabetic because I felt someone understood where I was and the questions I had.

In the aftermath, I knew my whole life would have to change – what I ate, what exercise I did, how I enjoyed myself (parties and that sort of thing) and my mental health. While diabetes is not a mental health disease, it does affect one’s view of themselves.

I felt so alone! My family criticised my eating habits and I hid my ‘condition’ from friends to avoid rejection and pain.

After a while, I thought of writing about my journey with diabetes, not with a blog because I wasn’t ready for that but because I can let my feelings out and cope with my new ‘life’ in a safe and controlled manner. I already used writing to cope with past challenges so I knew how to do it for diabetes and the benefits it would bring me.

Journaling in this way is private – it is you and your thoughts.

Guest Blogger - Mandy Halgreen

It allows you to process your new life and how you are coping. It is not something that you do for your psychologist or other mental health professionals or your spouse, it is purely for you!

By journaling, you are expressing your feelings and allowing them the freedom to be out in the open and dealt with.

You are doing it in a controlled environment and it can be therapeutic for you.

Journaling can be done on a laptop in a word processor, like Microsoft Word, or offline with pen and a notebook. You could even use the notes feature on your smartphone! The choice is yours.

There are three questions you can ask yourself in the beginning of the process:

  1. When will I journal (daily, weekly, monthly)?
  2. How long will I spend on journaling?
  3. How can I make it part of my routine?

I journal monthly about my diabetes and I enjoy the time with myself to analyse my habits and lifestyle because, in the end, these life experiences change our lifestyle.

We do things differently – after all, we are not the same people as we were before the experience, right?

Lastly, I want to look at how you can create a positive mind-set about your life with journaling.

  1. Who do I want to impact?
  2. What do I want them to achieve?

These are two questions I ask myself 2-3 times a week. They help me stay focused on my goals and learn more about where I am going.

I often think of it as a roadmap because the online world can be so crowded it is hard to find your destination but by checking in with your goals you can realign yourself and move forward.

With your journey towards healthy and happy already on the way, I hope you will take journaling on board and use it to propel yourself forward!

More about our Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

Mandy Halgreen is a Book Writing Mentor for online entrepreneurs and influencers who want to expand their audience and share their story. She helps them boost their authority and visibility with their own book. You can find out more by visiting or by joining her free course