There are many mental illnesses out there in the big wide world, and it seems that little by little each day medical science is getting closer to making discoveries, getting closer to not only what causes each type of mental illness, but also what sorts of things are preventative measures, and also possible cures for them.
We all have family members who either throughout their lives, or as they have gotten older, have suffered from a form of mental illness such as depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, autism or many more of these life changing and debilitating diseases and illnesses. At the moment there aren’t a lot of things that we can do to cure them either. But one thing that a lot of medical professionals have put forward is that writing in general, or even diary writing is something that research has picked up on having some significant effects on slowing down these mental illnesses.
Let’s have a look at five different reasons why diary writing helps your mental health and could also help prevent the onset of these mental illnesses both now and later in your life:
It helps to bring out your thoughts and your memories.
Ever been on a trip and taken photos and laughed along with people along through the event, only to get home and then realise that you may remember some things about the trip, but not everything, and that it was a faded memory? Even the photos can’t help you remember. Writing it down in a diary helps to record those thoughts and feelings of what it was like when you were there. It stimulates thoughts and emotions. You then remember, what you were wearing, what the weather was like, how good or bad the food tasted. The culture and experience of the place you visited.
It helps you reflect on what sort of a person you are.
Maybe the diary you are keeping is your personal thoughts or part of a therapy advised by a psychologist or practitioner, to help you release those inner feelings and emotions, in order to help you deal with them and perhaps move on from an unpleasant and traumatic experience. By writing down what you thought, what you said, how you acted during a particular event, or a time or a place that you were in, it helps you to recognise perhaps some sorts of behaviours that you may need to correct or think about. It kind of gives you a mirror image of yourself and can often be a positive and useful tool and help you create a better person.
Diary writing gives you that “space” that you often need.
Ever had a time that you just wanted to be alone to collect your thoughts? Some people find that by writing in a diary, it gives them an outlet to get rid of all those constant thoughts going around in your head and it can often be a very cathartic experience. Diary writing can often be that “person to talk to” when you have nobody to share your thoughts with. Even though it can’t answer your questions and things, just by writing it down can often help just to get it out of your mind.
Sometimes it shows your journey or how far you have come.
We have all had challenges in our lives that have seemed at the time against all impossible odds, and by writing these down, it can show how far we have come when we read back over them later. Especially if you are recording things in sequence, you can measure points of time and at what stage you were making certain amounts of progress. It can show your improvements, or even sometimes your failures. But it is like doing your own clinical observations of yourself, it can help you make better decisions and show what mistakes you possibly made in the past to help you try and avoid them in the future.
Writing stimulates brain activity and works your co-ordination.
It’s a healthy experience to write. Whether you are writing by hand, using a typewriter, or maybe even a computer keyboard, you are using the brain actively, along with the muscles, movements and co-ordination to think of what you are writing and also to make it make sense. Are you looking for a particular pattern when you are looking at your mental health? You can often see the highs and lows if you have been recording experiences for a long time. It may show your particular thoughts on a day or your actions during a particular time. This may help you change your thoughts and stimulate other parts of the brain that could be not being used at that particular time.