Practicing gratitude is so good for us! The effects on our brains are truly astounding.
The evidence from neuroimaging studies and research into the psychology of gratitude suggests that it plays a role in shaping brain activity and neural pathways in ways that we know contribute to improved mental well-being.
Some of the amazing benefits of practicing and experiencing gratitude include:
- more positive thoughts and emotions
- enhanced moods
- increased self-satisfaction
- stronger immune system
- better communication
- more empathy
- stronger interpersonal relationships
- better sleep
And one of the best reasons to introduce our kids and teens to gratitude journaling is that they are learning about and creating a habit that can support them for the rest of their lives.
They may come in and out of journaling, but if you have introduced it to them while they’re young, they’ll always know it’s there as a support tool.
It also shows them that they can influence their own well-being, and make positive changes in themselves and their lives, which lays such an incredible foundation for them as they grow.
There’s no right or wrong!
It is great to use every day though, or most days.The reason for this is that the practices inside the Journal work by creating new neural pathways, and the more these pathways are practiced the stronger they get. The stronger they are, the greater the benefits, because the optimistic mindset and new thought patterns become natural and are part of what creates resilience.
But even using the Journal every now and then will still be beneficial. This is because every time they practice gratitude, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that contribute to feelings of pleasure, happiness, and overall well-being.
The Journals are also a great way for anyone to calm down and begin to regulate after experiencing strong emotions, ot if they’re having trouble relaxing at bedtime, so they can be great to use at these times every now and then as needed.
How long does it take to use The Grow Journals?
This varies but on average 5 minutes. A very short amount of time for such amazing benefits!
We deliberately designed the journals with lots of opportunity for drawing and doodling (which is not only fun but also a great mindfulness activity!).
So some people might like to spend lots of time on their page either colouring in, or writing long entries. Others will just answer the questions.
Either way, they will experience the benefits.
We want everyone to enjoy using their Journal.
And the key is to encourage them to use it in a way that feels comfortable and enjoyable for them, so it becomes a habit they look forward to.
If your child or teen only wants to fill out some parts and not others, that’s totally fine! If you give them the flexiblity and choice, they are far more likely to relax and enjoy the experience, and will likely end up wanting to do the whole page at some point anyway. If not, that’s fine too! They’re going to benefit from any activities they’re doing within their Journal.
And can we suggest that you offer your older kids and teens the option to keep what they’ve written to themselves, unless they want to share it with you (which many, especially younger kids, will naturally do anyway).
This allows them the freedom to really open up and explore their feelings.
And if that makes them more likely to use their Journal, it’s a great thing, because it is such a supportive tool for them.