It was part of our formidable teen years, but has fallen away as our lives have gotten busier, but journaling is having its moment back in the wellness space, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Taking some time out of your day every day, taking note of your gratitudes and expressing your creativity are what makes journaling such a powerful mindfulness practice. And science agrees. According to a new study published in the journal Frontiers and Human Neuroscience, writing in a gratitude journal can improve your feelings of altruism.
Researchers out of the University of Oregon tasked 33 women between the ages of 18 and 27 to look at bank statements where money was either donated to themselves or to a local food bank.
“We found that across the whole group at the first session, people who reported more altruistic and grateful traits showed a reward-related brain response when the charity received money that was larger than when they received the money themselves,” said Christina M. Karns, the study’s author.
They then had half of the women write gratitude journals about the donations and the other half were prompted to just write in their journal — no gratitudes implied.
And immediately, they saw that noting feelings of gratitude in a journal actually lead to increased altruism.
“This group, as a whole, increased that value signal toward the charity getting the money over watching themselves get the money as if they were more generous toward others than themselves,” Karns added.
Incredible, isn’t it? It’s all even bigger reason to bring pen to paper. For years, we’ve heard from experts and successful women about why journaling helps them increase their creativity, connect with their inner self, and keep track of their goal progress. Even Amodrn’s own Bianca Cheah is a fan of the daily ritual.
The best part of the practice, there’s truly no set structure. Sometimes sitting down, grabbing your journal (maybe with a nice cup of tea), and simply expressing your feelings of gratitude can really do the trick. A few days into it, it’ll become a standard habit.
Time to bring back our journaling habits, we say!