You may remember keeping a journal in your youth to chronicle your life and write out your thoughts and feelings in a safe place. While most people associate journaling with childhood and adolescence, it can also be an effective tool for seniors. In fact, journaling as an older adult can boost your emotional and mental well-being. Read on to learn more about the benefits of journaling for seniors.
Whether you want to write down your current day-to-day experiences or take a walk down memory lane to relive memorable moments in your life, journaling can help you write it down to preserve the memory. While many people see their journals as private and meant only for them, you may choose to share some of these memories and stories with your family members. Some of your memories may have interesting historical facts that your grandchildren find interesting, for example. Sharing your memories can be a way for your family members to get to know you and your life journey better, too.
Sharpen Cognitive Function
Keeping your mind active and engaged is important no matter your age. As a senior, keeping your brain sharp may help delay symptoms of dementia and help you maintain independence into your golden years. Writing things down helps people better remember things, which leads to a boost in comprehension and cognitive functioning. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of writing, picking up paper and pen can be a way to form neural pathways and connections to keep your brain sharp.
Pull out your journal to exercise your creative ‘muscle’. In addition to writing out memories and stories in your journal, you can get as creative as you want to be on the pages. Try doodling or drawing or even writing poetry. This creative expression can bring joy, and you may just find inspiration for your next journal doodle or poem in your day-to-day life. These are also fun to look back on later to see how your creativity has evolved.
Life’s struggles don’t necessarily get any easier as we age. Journaling is an easy and effective way to help manage the stress in your day-to-day life. In fact, many therapists encourage their patients to journal as a way to work through their life stressors. Putting your thoughts and feelings onto paper can help you cope with overwhelming emotions. Writing may even bring you to an “epiphany” on how to deal with what is on your plate. Journaling can also help you examine and understand difficult seasons in the past, too.