Have you ever kept a journal? Although many people associate journaling with childhood, regularly writing down your thoughts and experiences is beneficial at any age. In fact, many seniors find that journaling isn’t just a fun way to pass the time – it has the power to impact their mood, their memory, and even their coordination. So if you’ve always wanted to spend more time writing, don’t underestimate the benefits of journaling.
The Benefits of Journaling
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for memories to slip away? Sometimes little details will reemerge, and you’ll wonder how you ever forgot them! Journaling is a great way to preserve your recent memories so that they never disappear. (If you write something down by hand, you’re more likely to remember it.) It also allows you to keep track of old memories that have resurfaced in your mind. Plus, if you’re open to sharing your journal, your children and grandchildren may enjoy learning more about you through your memories.
Therapists often recommend journaling because it allows you to transfer the overwhelming thoughts, worries, goals, and emotions in your head to paper. Once you see them written down in your journal, you won’t feel compelled to think about them constantly. In addition, you may be able to organize your thoughts and see them more clearly. For all of these reasons, journaling can relieve your stress and help you feel more calm and content.
As we age, it’s common to struggle with motor skills and hand coordination. Writing gives you a chance to exercise these muscles and improve your abilities. Simply gripping the pen and maneuvering it across the page may help your dexterity, but you could also try improving your penmanship or writing in cursive instead of print (or vice versa) for an extra challenge.
Although some people treat their journals like diaries, you certainly don’t have to divulge all your secrets and emotions to your journal or use it to recap your day. You could write fictional stories or poetry, describe objects that have meant something to you, express your gratitude, write about important moments in your life, list your favorite things (and why you love them), or follow journaling prompts. Keeping a journal offers a great opportunity to be creative and try new things.
Learn About Yourself
How often do you take the time to reflect on your thoughts and opinions? Whether you journal about your daily life, your deepest emotions, your favorite songs, or your perspectives on sports, you’re bound to learn something new about yourself. Or if you’ve never considered your thoughts on a particular subject, take some time to write about them. What is the best invention of the past 50 years? What is your silliest fear? Which reality TV show would you most like to participate in? What has brought you the most joy in life? You may even decide to compile your journal entries into a memoir.
If you’ve never tried keeping a journal and you’re interested in the benefits of journaling, now is a great time to start. All you need is paper, a pen, and ten minutes to spare.
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