Your golden years are the perfect time to pick up hobbies that you may once have been too busy for. Some may look to gardening, while others may sign up for dance classes or hiking groups. Or perhaps you may be into card games or literature. It’s great to explore your options now that you have the time and opportunity to. One hobby that you may not have considered is journaling. Journaling for health can help boost and regulate your mental and emotional states, leading to overall physical wellbeing too. Here are 5 ways journaling can help improve your health.
Stimulates Cognitive Function and Helps with Memory Retention
This is a habit you would have started way back in grade school or kindergarten: if you want to remember something, write it down. Seeing something on paper boosts your memory and comprehension, which in turn helps improve your cognitive processing. If you haven’t been writing for a while, getting back to a regular writing habit can help forge new neural pathways in your brain, keeping it sharp and focused.
Therapists often encourage people to start keeping a journal. This is because the very act of writing your thoughts down helps you process and regulate your emotions, particularly if you are feeling overwhelmed. Writing your feelings down gives you the time and space to examine and really understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling this way, thus giving you the clarity to move past stressful situations.
If you’ve ever been kept up at night by your racing thoughts, journaling may be the thing for you. Writing can help your brain break things down and relax. You don’t have to write anything particularly exciting, either – even “dull” content can help put you in a relaxing mood, like counting sheep to sleep! For instance, you can try making a list of tasks for the next day or week. Or, if you’re up because you’ve got something weighing on your mind, transfer those feelings into your journal instead.
While moving into golden years heralds a period of rest and relaxation, it is still a change to your lifestyle. To some, any sort of change can be stressful. You may have to come to terms with aging and the lifestyle changes that come with that. Keeping a journal can help you live in the present instead of worrying what the future holds. Aside from helping you regulate your emotions, as detailed above, a daily journal where you record the things that have happened to you throughout the day can help ground you in the present and learn to savor the little things in life.
Creating a Legacy
Others may see their journals as a legacy. Their journal-keeping habit might come in the form of letter-writing, where they pen down their thoughts to their children or grandchildren. Perhaps you can use your journal to look back not only on your daily thoughts and activities, but to remember events from your childhood and youth. You can use these memories to craft a memoir that will leave your descendants with beloved memories.