Why Keep a Journal?

Do you journal? This is one that I resisted for a long time. Once I started seeing benefits for myself, I started implementing it with some of my patients to rave reviews. If you’re a skeptic like I was, worry that the effort isn’t worth the time, or just need a little nudge to get started, here are some of the myriad benefits:

  • Stress relief : See here and here
  • Improved memory: Journaling can boost memory and comprehension, as well as working  memory capacity, which may reflect improved cognitive processing. Source
  • Clarifies goals and courses of action to achieve them: “Journaling about your goals helps you clarify what you want and encourages you to consider the why and how, not just the what.” Source
  • Promotes creativity
  • Encourages a sense of gratitude
  • And many more!

Here’s a quick journaling exercise as a place to start. I strongly recommend pen & paper over a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Exercise training improves memory

Tons of evidence-based research is available online touting the benefits of working out…and while reducing weight/body fat and increasing energy may come to mind at first, cognitive benefits have just as much positive impact on quality of life and healthy aging.

In this Harvard Health article, read how the benefits of exercise – from reduced insulin resistance and inflammation to improved mood and sleep have a positive impact on cognition as well. Other “findings indicate that aerobic exercise training is effective at reversing hippocampal volume loss in late adulthood, which is accompanied by improved memory function.”