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6 Solid Reasons Why You Should Keep A Diary

6 Solid Reasons Why You Should Keep A Diary

The art of journaling — otherwise known by teenagers as “keeping a diary” — isn’t something new. There are many who choose to create and use diaries for various reasons. People keep diaries because they feel that there is something important enough in their lives to keep track of. However, one’s definition may differ from another’s perspective. Although many diaries are for personal satisfaction, some use them for business purposes, in order to maintain a historical record for posterity. Below is a list of reasons why people may choose to maintain a diary.

1. To record and recall events and issues

This is probably the primary reason that diaries are kept. The diary can be a valuable tool to determine many things about past circumstances and events. You can look at recorded history as a conglomeration of diaries recorded by historians. Past records are all that we have to go on when we want to know history. If they are incorrect, the results can be disastrous.

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2. To honestly express your own thoughts and feelings

Many people are reflective and like to ponder past situations and events. Recording thoughts and feelings will help others to understand why you do what you do, along with past experiences which may have been either pleasant or unpleasant.

3. To get therapeutic mental release

It often helps when we communicate our feelings and problems to others. A diary can offer an acceptable alternative to verbally venting your beliefs about people, places, or events which have happened in life. The act of writing is also therapeutic because penning problems on paper is an active practice. Whenever you write problems on paper or speak them aloud, you are releasing frustration in a physical way.

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4. To have better self-reflection

This is akin to meditation. You reflect on past mistakes in order to avoid repeating them in the future. I have found this type of reflection to be helpful in my personal life. I often reflect on the mistakes that I have made when dealing with circumstances, situations, and people. Sometimes, people see journaling as an honest written self-assessment of situations which you may have been involved in, problems that you encountered, and the steps that you took to solve them. It is often used in the workplace so that the incoming replacement will have an excellent idea of what to expect during performance of the job.

5. To gain a new perspective

Reflecting on old problems, situations, and circumstances will often help us to understand the viewpoints of others and provide insight and knowledge that we otherwise would not receive.

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6. To increase vocabulary and enhance writing skills

The only way to become more proficient at performing a task is by doing it. Practice makes perfect and keeping a diary will help you to hone your communication skills and writing proficiency. The more you write, the better you become at writing.

How Diaries are Used

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online-diary

    There are many different types of diaries along with methods of creating and maintaining them. Diaries can be used to record travel, recipes or foods, workouts, sleep, places, times and dates when fish are biting well, memoirs, prayers, and goals and achievements — just to name a few.

    Workout and travel logs are two examples of keeping track of historical data for future use. This type of diary is normally very valuable when it comes to improving personal performance, identifying trends and circumstances which affect performance, and keeping track of scheduled maintenance.

    Modern Ways of Journaling

    Modern technology has expanded the number of diary-keeping options. In the not-too-recent past, pen and paper were the only way to write a diary, but technology has given us a plethora of tools. Some historians choose to maintain audio recordings of their activities, many others will use social media such as Facebook, while a number of people are switching to getting their own website. This has become easier and popular due to accessibility and many benefits of WordPress, Blogspot, or Tumblr. Other people purchase their own camera, build a channel on Youtube, and record themselves instead of writing it all down. Any voice, digital, or electronic recording can be maintained indefinitely and will remain accurate and true.

    Featured photo credit: Sofie Delauw via gettyimages.com

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    Last Updated on October 23, 2018

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

    My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

    Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

    The Neural Knitwork Project

    In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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    While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

    The knitting and neural connection

    The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

    More mental health benefits from knitting

    Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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    “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

    Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

    Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

    She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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    “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

    The dopamine effect on our happiness

    Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

    There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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    “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

    If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

    Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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