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  • Writer's pictureJanice Gill

5 Exercises for Improving Memory in Writing a Journal

journal with flowers, artist's paints, pens, papercrafting paraphernalia.
Journal with paraphernalia. Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

As we age, our brains are less efficient, so sometimes it's tempting to use them less. We may binge-watch TV, surf the net or just laze in the sunshine. There's nothing wrong with a balanced diet of all those things.

If you haven't tried journaling, I'm here to wholeheartedly recommend it as both a creative past-time and a brain workout to improve your memory.

  1. The process of writing itself is a great form of exercise that helps your brain by using hand-eye coordination. If your Journal ends up as nothing more than a diary, the thought processes involved in creating a written piece will give your brain a workout.

  2. If you get a little more creative with your Journal, you could include a variety of artistic pursuits - a little watercolour painting, sketching and drawing are great ways to bring out the artist in you. Try adding a ten-minute sketch each day and notice how you improve over time.

  3. One of my favourite things to do in my own journal is to write poetry. Sometimes it's a silly observation; sometimes, it's more serious. It's always short. Poetry makes you think carefully about the words you use; fitting them to a metre or rhyme scheme can be challenging - an excellent workout.

  4. Those words you keep forgetting - write them in your journal. I find myself constantly forgetting the names of plants. As a keen gardener, this can be a bit embarrassing when you try recalling names for someone else. Laburnam is one I had a mind block with, so I painted a sketch in my journal and include a favourite photograph.

  5. Learning something new is one of the best ways of keeping your brain younger and fitter. You can learn a new process, such as calligraphy, directly related to journalling, or learn something completely different that you can write about as a new experience. The world's your oyster as far as learning goes. For instance, next week, I'm hoping to learn more about astrophotography while I attempt to get some better shots of the Milky Way.

Footpath with Laburnam trees growing either side, trained over the path, with flowers cascading down.
Laburnam Walk, Bodnant Gardens

It's easy to accept the myth that we can't learn anything new once we reach a certain age. But, you most certainly can teach an old dog new tricks.

For more information on improving memory and keeping fit in your senior years, there's more to read under the Health and Wellbeing tab.

Feel free to share your journaling creations and how you use your journaling in the comments.

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