Whether you picked it up as a New Year's resolution, or it caught your attention on an influencer's viral TikTok, gratitude journals are all the rage right now. But, like most lifestyle trends, there's always the risk that there's no proven research to back up the claims. Luckily for this mental health hack, it got the scientific stamp of approval!
Joanne Frederick, a professional counselor, based in Washington, shared her thoughts on the trend with Allure, explaining, "Gratitude journaling can lead to a more positive outlook about life in general, and a more positive outlook about oneself." And the benefits didn't stop there. "When we experience a situation that depresses us or [gets us] down, a gratitude journal will help you find something good in your life no matter how bad the situation is. It gives a sense of hopefulness," she continued to explain. But Fredericks wasn't the only one in her field on board with the TikTok trend. Kathryn Smerling, the NYC-based psychotherapist, also co-signed the idea. "The more you appreciate what you have, the better your mental health is going to be. You're not going to be concentrating on what you don't have, but rather what you do have," she explained.
With this glass-half-full outlook broken down to us by two experts in the field, it's no surprise why this trend has kicked off at the time it has. From lockdowns to worries about the future, the past two years of the pandemic have led to some pretty widespread mental health issues, and this simple five-minute practice has become a popular tool in looking for the positives in everyday life. "The world can feel really heavy day-to-day," Dr. Frederick summed up. "In order to survive and find hope, a gratitude journal is really helpful from a clinical perspective."
And best of all, there's even a suggested correlation between this trend and improved sleep - which TBH we could all use. So what are you waiting for? You can browse countless options over on Amazon or check out your local book store to pick up your very own. And stay tuned for more trending lifestyle hacks worth giving a try!