There are many advantages to keeping a journal for seniors. Maybe you’ve been an avid diary-keeper your whole life. Or, perhaps you are just getting started. Either way, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or create an elaborately decorated scrapbook to benefit from keeping a personal record of your life. You and generations of your loved ones will be grateful that you kept a journal. Here are 3 of many advantages of keeping a journal for seniors.
1. Keeping a journal can improve your memory
Memory loss or forgetfulness is a common complaint for many seniors. Did you know that journaling might actually improve your memory? Writing down your experiences is a good way to process them, and helps your brain store them as long-term, retrievable memories. One study showed that people who wrote down their experiences remembered them better 6 months later. Another study found that writing about one’s deepest feelings and emotions actually improves your working memory over time. Working memory is your temporary memory that helps you solve problems and make decisions. This is even more important for seniors, who are at higher risk of dementia and memory problems.
2. Journaling is a great way to manage stress and anxiety.
Journaling can actually help you live a happier, more stress-free life! Studies have shown that people who journal regularly report more feelings of overall well-being and less depression than those who don’t. It can also help you work through things you are stressed about or feelings of anxiety. If you want to use journaling to manage stress, make sure you describe in detail what’s happening to make you feel stressed. Then include all of the things you are feeling right at this moment. Put words to your worries! This can help you realize which worries are valid problems that might need to be addressed, and which are things you can just let go.
3. Your journal of your life experiences could help your family for generations!
If you have ever lost a loved one, you know the feeling of desperately wishing you could have just one more conversation with them. A journal can be incredibly helpful for this feeling. If you have your loved one’s journal, their experiences and records can comfort and help you long after they are gone. It’s like having a hundred more conversations with the person you’ve lost. You can provide this gift to your children, grandchildren, and many future generations by keeping a journal. Everything you go through in life can help them and support them as they try to navigate their own lives. It can even just be entertaining and heartwarming to read!
These are just 3 big advantages of keeping a journal for seniors, but there are many more. Get started today! If you’re unsure what to write about, try just setting a timer for 10 minutes and writing whatever comes to mind. You can also write down previous experiences you don’t want to forget, defining moments of your life, or even search online for tons of journaling prompts. Write about how you met your spouse, detail the births of your children, the high and low points of your career(s), how it felt to graduate college, when you decided to move into senior living…the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t really matter what you write, just get writing! You and your loved ones will experience these and many other future benefits.