Today’s Wisdom is provided by Kreuz (2019). His article (see reference below) provides the benefits of keeping a journal and reading fiction.
“Keeping a journal, for example, has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of developing various forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.” (Kreuz, 2019)
Journaling is personal. It can be a diary of sorts where you write about your day or it can be more specific like what you eat, your exercise routine, or even a catalogue of your thoughts, poems you like, or books you have read.
I do my gratitude journaling in the morning and keep a personal journal that I write in. My version of a journal is like a diary. It is a collection of ideas, things I think about, and a way to get things out of my head and onto paper.
The easiest way to start a journal is simply to buy one and set a time in the morning, afternoon, or evening when you write in it. Keep it handy. Over time, my journaling has evolved into a set session in the morning, followed by internal nudges that say “Hey, this is important or this is bothering you–write it down.”
Reading is also important. Kreuz (2019) states:
“Reading fiction, meanwhile, has been associated with a longer lifespan. A large-scale study conducted by the Yale University School of Public Health found that people who read books for at least 30 minutes a day lived, on average, nearly two years longer than non-readers. This effect persisted even after controlling for factors like gender, education and health. The researchers suggest that the imaginative work of constructing a fictional universe in our heads helps grease our cognitive wheels.”
The easiest way to start a reading habit is to set aside a time to read each day. I like to read in the afternoon and evening before I go to bed. It helps me sleep, and it does exactly what Kreuz (2019) explains–it works the brain because you have to create the worlds the author is depicting.
I read one chapter a day. If I have time, I read more than that, but the daily goal is one chapter. Everything after that is bonus reading. You can do the same. The key to reading consistently is to find books that really engage you. What genre do you enjoy? I’m a science fiction fan. I like stories about spaceships, aliens, clones, cyborgs, and the like. You may like mysteries, thrillers, or even romance. Find the genre you enjoy and stick with that for a bit. Once you begin reading and getting into a story, you’ll be hooked like I am.
Reading and writing are terrific ways to entertain yourself and keep that brain working. Try it out. A journaling and writing practice should take about an hour a day. Both will keep your mind working and keep your mind clear.
I hope all of you have a great Wednesday!
Until next time…
Kreuz, R. (2019). How reading and writing can help us live longer, healthier lives. Retrieved from: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/09/reading-thirty-minutes-day-increase-life-expectancy