The science behind the Diary
Meditation + Journaling + Habit creation.
This is the mindful formula behind The Meditation Diary.
And each of these practices brings numerous benefits, backed by science.
If you want to know about facts and scientific evidence, read the below.
Meditation & research progress
The benefits of meditation are numerous and so are the reasons to meditate;
There are an increasing number of articles and scientifically proven studies that validate these benefits.
Type it in your web browser and you will be amazed by the results…or just read the below, since we have listed some of them for you.
If you were still skeptical about meditation, then this could finally convince you...!
Mindfulness meditation is known to help you to be more aware and present.
It makes you take the time to consciously breathe, to be aware of your physical sensations, to observe what your mind is doing and slow down your thoughts. That overall awareness allows you to reconnect with yourself and refocus on the present moment.
This capacity to be more present has been demonstrated by a study carried out in 2007 from the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal. After an 8 week course in mindfulness meditation, brain scans on participants showed that the training has allowed neural dissociation of the two forms of self-reference in the brain that are habitually integrated: dissociation between the self “across time” versus “in the present moment”, thus allowing one to be more aware.
To read more about the study click here.
Mindfulness meditation has also been demonstrated to bring better sleep quality.
A clinical trial published in JAMA Internal Medecine shows that participants of the study, who usually showed moderate sleep disturbances, had significant improvements in their sleep patterns after a 6 week period of mindfulness practice, and this also impacted their daytime cognitive function.
Not only did their sleep quality improve, but this also led them to be more alert and aware during the day, therefore reducing their sleep-related daytime impairment...
Click here to read the full clinical study.
Meditation helps to manage stress in your day-to-day life. It encourages you to understand and accept your feelings, so you don’t panic when stress goes through your body.
It gives you a control over it, so you feel more calm and serene.
A 2012 study from the neuroscientist Gaelle Desbordes showed that a regular practice of meditation changes your brain: it decreases the release of hormones in the amygdala (the region of the brain that controls the release of stress), which means the subjects feel less stressed.
These changes were detected from the beginning to the end of the study; which means subjects feel less stress not only during meditation training but in their everyday life too.
To find out more click here.
Taking deep breaths while meditating will lower your shoulders effortlessly and reduce tension in your back.
You will feel physically more relaxed and less tense...and not only will your back benefit, but your blood pressure too!
Studies have shown that meditation can relax the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, blood vessel tension etc. leading to an overall reduction of blood pressure…and so reduce the strain on the heart.
This blood pressure decrease appears during meditation but also over time with a consistent meditation practice. Dr. Herbert Benson says: “a simple intervention aimed at emptying the mind of the constant barrage of intrusive thoughts can achieve major benefits for the body.”.
Click here to read more about it.
Meditation is great training for your brain. By attenuating the number and intensity of the thoughts, meditation gives you back the mental space and the strength you need to focus on what you want, not what your mind wants. It improves your mental capacities like the ability to concentrate and memorise.
Indeed, in 2018 a study on 20 novice meditators has demonstrated that after a 10-day mindfulness meditation retreat, significant improvements have been reported in rumination and performance measures of working memory and sustained attention, in comparison to a group who has not been trained in meditation.
For all the details on this study, click here.
Meditation assists you to return to your natural state of calmness, with clearer thoughts: it gives you emotional stability.
You can then react to situations with wisdom and clarity and will likely make better life decisions, progress through everyday situations with equanimity.
A study from the University of Toronto documents the linkage between mindfulness and improved emotion regulation. It suggests that thanks to the practice of mindfulness, people acquire more self-awareness and acceptance, which together facilitate executive control and then emotion regulation.
"By practicing mindfulness, those people are able to feel and accept the initial 'pang' of affect. Doing so will help them to minimise the negative consequences associated with the 'full-blown emotional reactions'." This will lead them to a better control and regulation of their emotions.
All the details of the study right here.
Journaling & scientific studies
Another great practice which is very beneficial for mental health and helps bring more mind clarity is journaling.
Forget the old “clichés” about having a daily journal, it’s not just for teenagers writing about their school crush…
There is indeed numerous scientific evidence that highlights the therapeutic effects of journaling. We've listed some for you below.
At The Meditation Diary we strongly believe in the great benefits of handwriting. This is why we first wanted to address the benefits of the "good old pen & paper", in a world more and more digitalised....
A Japanese study, published in the journal called Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, showed that when you write on paper, using a pen, you get a greater brain activity and memory retention compared to using a tablet or phone (all details here).
This has also been confirmed by the University of Indiana; they have shown that children who learn to draw a letter freehand have better results than those who do it by tracing and typing on computer. The brain is much more stimulated, and it also helps to generate ideas more easily…
Not to mention other evidence that show that keeping one’s hands engaged with a pen helps to focus and concentrate better on what you are writing or thinking about.
Hence handwriting stimulates the brain in a way that can’t be achieved by technology - that’s one of the reason why we wanted to develop a Meditation Diary...and not an app!
The synchronisation of mind and body also helps to feel more present, indeed by holding a pen you connect to the physical perceptions, feeling the sensations of writing on the paper… It brings you back to the task at hand.
For some people handwriting is also a great source of relaxation…this explains why adult colouring is such a growing current trend. The pen/paper connection brings a lot of peace.
Last but not least…handwriting is a nice break from technology and its distractions, which we might all be able to relate to!
Taking the time to write your thoughts down is a great exercise to be more aware of them.
Sometimes we don’t even realise what thought patterns might be playing until we take the time to observe them...
This is what a 13-week study conducted on 97 students in 2019 by Professors Alt and Raichel has demonstrated. The study showed that unstructured and semi-structured (with prompted questions) reflective journaling increases the metacognitive awareness in 2 ways:
1. It helps with 'knowledge': it increases the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes / self-awareness.
2. It gives a better ‘regulation’ perception: one feel more able to regulate and manage its thoughts, especially with the practice of semi-structured journaling.
Hence the design of The Meditation Diary, structured with prompting questions templates...!
To read more about the study, click here.
A study from 2018 of the University of Northern Colorado has been conducted on nursing students who experienced anxiety in the clinical setting.
To help them to identify and decrease their anxiety, as well as avoid any negative effects on patients’s safety, the nursing students have been offered a 4 week guided and non-guided reflective journaling methods.
The before and after results clearly showed that there was a decrease in the states of anxiety for all the nursing students who regularly practiced journaling for 4 weeks, compared to the “control group” of nurses who didn’t write down their thoughts (no change in their states of anxiety). More details on the studies here.
This is one of the several studies that highlight the benefits of reflective journaling as an effective strategy to address the problem of anxiety. It is an excellent way to become aware and identify your internal thought patterns that could bring anxious ideas.
As it is not only in your head anymore but on paper, it can give a better vision to identify what triggers your stress and raise self-awareness. It can also bring some relief to express them, instead of keeping everything inside.
"Since I started using The Meditation Diary I don't skip my sessions anymore, it helped me to create a routine and stick to it."
Discover more about...
The benefits of The Diary
The Meditation Diary helps to create a “tangible meditation routine”, and the benefits are dual: stay consistent and get more insights from the practice. To understand all the mechanisms involved, click below.The benefits of using the Diary
Discover our story
The features :
3 months of meditation templates that bring structure and guidance allowing you to get more from your practice.
Challenges & quotes
Weekly inspirational quotes and mindfulness challenges to anchor meditation in your daily life.
For all meditation types
Crafted from high-quality cream paper (105 g/sqm, 100% recycled) and lay-flat binding for a very enjoyable writing experience.
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