Dear Diary

I went to see the exhibition about diaries down in the basement of King’s College, London.   It started with an intriguing timeline, beginning with Babylonian clay tablets from 1400BC, extending through Edward VI who kept a personal chronicle, through Pepys (of course) to Thomas Turner, the Georgian shopkeeper, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu whose diary was burnt by her daughter, the Countess of Bute, on her death, the establishment of Letts diaries in 1796 to the invention of the blogosphere as recently as 1999, the foundation of Facebook in 2004 and the discovery of a hitherto unknown diary by Bram Stoker in 2011.   I read recently that keeping a diary was recommended for one’s health and found this confirmed in a quotation from the Journal of the American Psychological Association:  ‘Expressive writing reduces intrusive and avoidant thoughts about negative events and improves working memory.   These improvements, researchers believe, may in turn free up our cognitive resources for other mental activities, including our ability to cope more effectively with stress’.

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2 thoughts on “Dear Diary

  1. Ivan Gaskell says:

    I wish I could confirm the claims in the Journal of the American Psychological Association. If they are true, I can but wonder how much more of a mental mess I would be had I not kept a daily diary since January 1, 1969.

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