Journaling is defined as the practice of keeping a diary which expresses thoughts and feelings through writing and keeps the brain active. It is an expressive way to process emotions without any judgmental rules. Many older individuals think of journaling as an old-fashioned hobby. However, it is much more than that. Older people who have never written journals before may feel clumsy at the beginning, but with time the practice comes as second nature to them.
BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
Those who practice it may notice a variety of advantages as mentioned below:
1. Reduces stress
Long-term stress can adversely impact your emotional and mental health. Journaling is a great way to express thoughts and emotions, which sequentially helps manage stress during senior years. Regularly writing down what is in mind helps older individuals make sense of what is going on in their lives.
2. Stimulates positive well-being
Journaling stimulates creativity and helps one to process information with a clear mind. It is a powerful tool to promote mental health by reducing mental clutter and allowing yourself to detach from negative experiences.
3. Jogs the memory
For older individuals, journaling helps recall memories while keeping the brain sharp and active. It helps them prioritize concerns and fears and offers an opportunity for self-talk.
4. Improves relationships with others
Learning about yourself through journaling helps one to nurture better relationships with others. Significantly it helps one to resolve conflicts more easily.
TYPES OF JOURNALS AND THEIR BENEFITS TO OLDER PEOPLE
• Gratitude journal- This helps seniors stay focused on the positive aspects of the day. Under the journal, the individual lists aspects that provide joy to them.
• One-sentence journal- This type is fast and straightforward since it allows you to write one sentence a day. Notably, this is good for seniors who have difficulties writing lengthy journals.
• Planning journal- This is the simplest form of journaling that allows one to focus and reflect on the day's activities.
• Dream journal- This provides a lot of insight into one's creative and emotional self.
BEST JOURNALING TIPS FOR SENIORS
In the beginning, consider journaling right after you wake up. This will help get your thoughts and emotions in order. The best way to approach journaling is to find what feels best for you. To incorporate it into their daily routine, older individuals should link it with daily activities such as brushing their teeth or exercising in the morning. Also, it is best to pick a time of the day when you feel relaxed to practice. Some of the tips to make the journey more fruitful are mentioned below:
• Practice more- the more one practices, the more they get comfortable with journaling
• Make it easy and write whatever you feel
• Set achievable goals
• Eat healthier and exercise regularly
• Be gentle with yourself
• Do not judge what you write
• Keep going
Conclusively, journaling can help seniors promote mental wellness and lead healthier lives with increased gratitude. At Senior Helpers San Mateo, we know how vital self-expression is beneficial for older people and their health and well-being. We help residents of Redwood City, Burlingame, and Millbrae explore the creative outlet of journaling while having fun in the process. If you need help with journaling, book an appointment with us to guide you in your journey.