Writing obviously requires the use of your hands. Whether you're using a keyboard to type or using pen and paper, you’re giving your hands a workout, and that can help improve your overall dexterity. Using your hands more can also potentially improve your hand eye coordination as well as your reflexes. This can have benefits in a variety of areas in your life, from the act of getting dressed to carrying and holding items.
Writing things down preserves them, and the same holds true for your memories. You can write your thoughts and experiences down to conserve them for future generations. Or, you can do it to give your own memory a workout by thinking back on the events to describe them in detail or recording them to be read in the near future to jog your memory.
Writing engages your brain, giving it a little workout. Cognitive abilities work like muscles in that the more you use them, the better they function — and vice versa. Writing lets you engage some of those muscles every day to keep them running well.
Writing can take many forms, but one popular form is journaling. It’s a great way to express yourself and process thoughts in addition to writing down memories. It can also add structure to your day. You can sit down to journal every day at a set time and make it a routine or you can take a second to reflect on your schedule through your journal. You might even begin to look forward to this personal reflection and writing time.
No matter what age they are, everyone deals with emotions. Whether the emotions are traumatic or simply confusing, people need a way of working through them. Writing can help with that. This doesn’t need to be as consistent as journaling, but writing down the way you’re feeling and the things that brought on those feelings can be a way to process those emotions faster. If nothing else, you can clarify what you’re feeling and your thoughts on those feelings, which can be a good starting point for seeking resolution.
Writing about positive experiences triggers a release of the endorphins associated with them. Writing about the beautiful scene you saw out your window can help trigger the same feelings the images did initially. This can help extend pleasant feelings for longer periods of time, which works wonders for overall mood. It can be a valuable tool in your daily arsenal for developing a positive outlook.
When you write, you engage your brain to come up with the specific words to convey exactly what you want to say. This can help general communication, because your brain is already working that way and doing so more frequently. This carries over to other areas of your life. Working to convey ideas through writing can also improve how you do it with your body language and verbally because you’re more used to using those parts of the brain.
Even in a community of residents and staff who support others, such as the Grand Villa assisted living community, sometimes you want to have quiet time to yourself. Writing is an excellent way to do that. When you're occupied with an activity, people are more likely to leave you alone because they can see you’re doing something. In this instance, what you're writing isn't necessarily what's important: the time for peaceful reflection is.
Creative endeavors provide enjoyable hobbies, help us find meaning in life and can even lead to lasting friendships with others who are interested in the same activities. With writing, you can scratch your creative itch. It doesn’t have to be journaling or writing memories — you can write stories, poetry or even a book.
It doesn't matter if you’re a person who’s been journaling for years, a seasoned author or someone considering giving it a go, there’s plenty of reasons to at least try out writing. Whether it’s to help you with cognitive function or emotions or an outlet for your creativity, the benefits are many.
And since all you need is a paper and pen — or a computer or mobile device with an app that lets you type — you can get started today.