Though a lot of kids and teenagers keep diaries or journals, not many adults maintain this regular habit into their twenties, thirties and beyond. Journaling can seem like a tedious habit and not one worth its work.

But research shows that writing things down could be beneficial, and sometimes even crucial, to your overall well-being. Here’s a few reasons to consider picking up a writing habit today.

  1. Practice gratitude on purpose

    Journaling can improve our moods and boost our happiness levels, but it’s also a powerful way to track the times we felt good and grateful. In the stresses of life, it’s easy to forget the thinks we’re thankful for but keeping a written record of them can help remind our brains to keep things in context and stay grateful.

  2. Get in tune with your moods

    Any good writer will tell you that sometimes you just have to get a story’s words down on paper to figure out what you’re trying to say. Emotions work that way too. When feelings and situations get complex or overwhelming, writing them down in even the most simplistic way can help us get a hold of them. Journaling can help us regulate our emotions, and even provide cathartic relief in extremely difficult times.

  3. Become a more creative thinker

    Writing is, of course, a creative act but you don’t need to write poetry or prose to spark creativity when keeping a journal. The act of simple journaling itself helps unlock and engage your right brain, which can help improve your problem solving skills and growth skills in every aspect of your daily life.

  4. Improve your memory

    A regular writing habit can help boost your memory and comprehension skills, which can go a long way towards improving cognitive abilities. Improving these skills now is a crucial way to keep them sharp and agile as you age.

  5. Cut back on stress

    Journaling is a proven way to reduce stress. It’s even proven that writing for 15-20 minutes at least three times per week can help lower blood pressure and improve liver function. Writing about stressful experiences or negative feelings is an incredible way for people to process things.

You don’t need to be the next Emily Dickinson to simply pick up a journaling habit. Aim to write for 10-15 minutes a couple times a week, or incorporate journaling into your bedtime routine. In just a few months, you could start to feel the mind and body benefits of keeping a journal.