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Keeping a diary is like building a time machine of our lives

May 3, 2017

Humans are forgetful creatures. Our brains start deteriorating as we get older, we take longer to learn new things and we don’t remember new information as quickly as we did, but the worst part is we start to lose our memories. It’s such a sorrowful thing that we start to forget some of the important moments or old friends in our lives.

Therefore, some inventions were produced to assist us in recording special days, moments and memories such as cameras, journals and diaries. Although social media like Instagram and Twitter also play important roles in recording our daily lives, I still believe that keeping a diary is the best way to record our lives. People take and post photos on social media so they can remember days out and parties. A diary is a completely personal, written account, recording the things only we can see and as much detail as we like.

I have kept diaries since elementary school. Now there are six diaries on my bookshelf. They record my life stories throughout the past 16 years. Usually, I read my diaries when I feel bored or unhappy because my diaries have recorded some of the funny remarks or interesting things that have happened to me.

When I read each page in my diaries, it feels like riding a time machine and traveling back to my early life that I might have forgotten. For example, my first love was happening when I was 11 years old. He was a country boy, and we broke up because I moved to the city. His face is vague to me now, but the feeling of the first time falling in love, no matter bitter or sweet, still exists between the words in my diary. It reminds me how adorable my first love was.

The other example is that my diaries let me keep in touch with my childhood friends again. I forgot the names of my childhood friends but can find them on social media by reading their names in my diaries. After adding them as friends on my social media accounts, we talked about many interesting memories in our past. They felt really surprised that I can remember these things from such a long time ago. They will never know that it’s because of my diaries.

Besides reminding us about our past, keeping a diary can make people happier. Our brains can overcome negative emotions when we write about our feelings in a diary. Some psychologists have found that human brain scans showed that writing feelings down on paper reduces activity in a part of the brain called the “amygdala,” which is responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions. It seems like writing a diary equals cleaning out bad feelings and remissive sadness from our minds.

Writing in a diary is like building a time machine of our lives with words and paper. As a person who has written in diaries for 16 years, I know it takes a lot of time, especially if you want to have perfect handwriting. However, if you could get a happier life and a personal story book that belongs to yourself, why not try?

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