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Journaling: A Great Exercise to Improve Your Memory

by Frank Herold
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Journaling can be an excellent outlet to express creativity, record goals, and reflect on your day's events. What you may not realize is there is a host of memory-boosting benefits with journaling as well. 

Today, we'll highlight some of these benefits, and you may be inspired to pick up a pen or sit down at the computer.

 

Related blog: 5 WAYS TO KEEP THE MIND SHARP IN THE LATER YEARS OF LIFE

 

The Difference Between a Journal and a Diary

Typically, a diary is reserved for recording emotions or private sentiments. When you consider journaling, think of it as more of an outward projection of your perceptions. Document the world around you or experiences that are important to you. 

In doing so, you can paint a picture of your life now, to remember ten or more years down the road. You can reference your past writing to remind you of pivotal moments or daily routines. Your great-grandchildren will appreciate the documented timeline of your life, too. Think of your journal as an outlet to preserve your memories.

 

Jog Your Memory of Names & Places

Meeting new people and socializing in new environments can present a host of new names, faces, and places to your memory. Journal about those new introductions and keep a reference to serve as a reminder. 

You'll be able to reflect on the activity and also reinforce those new names and places to your memory bank.

 

Journaling an Event Timeline

Writing about past events can help you remember those key experiences. However, you can also use your journal as a timeline tracker for upcoming events as well. 

Journal yourself a calendar of upcoming events and plans, and as you embark on those adventures, you can revisit your journal to record the activities. Use your journal as a tangible reminder of all the amazing plans you have upcoming.

 

Eliminating the Mental Clutter

Sometimes, you find your mind racing with tons to do, events to plan, or family situations. Journaling about everything that's bogging you down can help you clear your mind and destress. Free up some of that mental space by pouring those details down on paper. In doing so, you'll be able to improve your ability to focus and tap into your more creative side.

 

Enhancing Your Problem-Solving Skills

Journaling can help you maintain a clear thought process to approaching challenges. The best solutions come from a place of creativity. Jotting down digestible chunks of information can help you sort through the details and will encourage your creative side to step in.

 

Improving Your Overall Memory Function

Expressive writing can help you manage negative thinking and reduces emotional stress. Research also points out that memory function can be improved overall, as you document your feelings and environment.

 

Journaling for Self-Improvement

There is no better way to set goals and track your efforts than with journaling. Use a journal to track your short, mid, and long-term goals. You can then record your ongoing achievements as you hit those objectives, building confidence in self-improvement. Documenting your shortcomings can help you see where your problem areas might be, making it easier to tackle those tougher to reach goals for yourself. Connect those ever-important dots between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

 

A Great Place to Start Your Journaling Efforts

Check out the Center for Journal Therapy website for great tips on starting your journaling efforts. They offer an easy to remember acronym, W-R-I-T-E.

W: What do you want to write about today?

R: Reflect on your experience and review your thoughts.

I: Investigate your feelings as you jot down your sentiments.

T: Time your writing and try to commit to at least a five-minute window of dedication to your journal.

E: Exit your journaling time only after you've read your writing. Take a moment and leave it there.

Journaling doesn't have to be perfect or grammatically correct. Instead, consider it to be a creative outlet with a host of memory-building benefits. Pick up a journal and happy writing!

 

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