5 Reasons Why Diary Writing Will Help Your Mental Health

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.

What To Do If You Hate Keeping A Food Diary: A Smart Weight Loss Tip

It’s clear that keeping a food journal or food diary – a written record of every bite you put in your mouth – is an effective weight loss tool. Women who record what they eat, eat less and lose more weight. They are also more successful at keeping the weight off. Used correctly, a food diary can be an effective tool for taking control of emotional eating.

The problem is, just about everyone hates keeping a food log, and setting up an approach that you dread can be an easy path to self-sabotage. Writing down everything you put into your mouth can be inconvenient, tedious, and it requires a lot of discipline. It can also be difficult to record portion sizes accurately, and far too tempting to bend the truth.

Here’s a smart weight loss tip that holds promise. You don’t have to write down everything you eat anymore to get the benefit of keeping a food diary. There’s actually a simple, graphic and accurate way to record what you eat – at the touch of a button. Grab your cell phone and snap a picture. Yep, take a picture of your food-all your food-before you eat it. Pictures don’t lie. They don’t fudge on portion sizes (consider placing something like a fork in the picture so that you can assess for scale), and they show everything on your plate. They even document the times when you skip using the plate (not a good weight loss tactic, by the way).

Research indicates that keeping a photographic food diary may work even better than a written one.

What to do with these photos? A simple, free solution is to set up a free blog at Blogspot.com or other blog site. You decide whether you want to keep it private (for your eyes only) or open it up to friends or to the world (accountability helps). New apps and options are being developed as we speak, so chances are good that you’ll be able to find something that will work for you. For those on Twitter, there is an app, for tweeting what you’re eating, allows you to add pictures to your tweets and says it will be streamlining the process in the near future.

What do you think? Have you used a food diary (written or photo-based)? How has it worked for you? What has helped you stick with it, or what has gotten in your way?

Keeping A Record Of Your Child’s Growth With A Baby Photo Album

From the day babies are born they have photos taken of them almost constantly as family members come to visit and have their picture taken with the newest member of the family. Thanks to this there will always be a surplus of photos of someone when they were a baby, meaning parents and family members will never forget what someone looked like. However, from the baby stage to the primary and secondary school stage, there are few times parents stand back and think they need a photo of their child at that certain age, but in the future it’s exactly what they wish they’d thought to themselves.

Parents don’t need to make a huge deal about taking photos of their children every now and then, but they do need to ensure they do it, otherwise they’ll end up missing the opportunity when it’s right in front of them. To help with this, many parents keep a baby diary, a record of when their child did different things for the first time in their lives, such as said their first word or walked for the first time. Alongside the entries in these diaries parents can put photos, and use the diary as a way to remember certain key events in their child’s life.

Keeping one of these diaries will help parents get into the habit of taking more photos of their children. Once they’re in this habit then they can carry it on as the child grows further, although they won’t need to keep a detailed diary note for each and every picture they take. Taking all of these pictures will mean parents need somewhere to organise their favourites. They can create a range of albums on their computer to record each year or month, or they can choose their favourites and have them printed ready for organising. Printed photos need to be kept in a photo album to stay safe and preserved, and there are so many to choose from it can be hard to know which one to get. For a child’s growth photo album, a lot of pages are necessary, and the pages need to be as big as possible to get in as many photos as a page will fit.

By keeping a detailed record of a child’s growth, parents can show their friends and family what their child used to look like for many years. These albums are always helpful to couples when their children have left home for university, as it helps them remember what life was like when they used to have children running around their feet causing chaos and trouble at every corner.