When you think of journaling, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For most people it’s all about weight loss or gratitude, or even just capturing your thoughts in a freewriting journal. I can pretty much guarantee you, a happiness journal didn’t cross your mind.
So what is a happiness journal, and why would you want to start one?
The easy answer is: a happiness journal is a journal where you record things in your day that make you feel happy.
Here are three things to think about when considering starting a happiness journal.
Focus on the positive side of your day
A happiness journal encourages you to focus you on positive aspects of your life. The whole idea is to find something happy in your day or your week. You may have had the worst day possible, but there can be some happiness in it when you look. That is what the journal does.
Some of these happiness journals have a happy devotional or inspirational saying. Some are even based on jokes that will give you a laugh, even when the world may seem against you. It is all about being happy even in the midst of depression.
Focus on the good in your day.
Have you ever had a day like this? You woke up late, you were late to work, you were written up for being late, and you missed lunch. You ran out of gas on the way home and then got home to find out your toilet has flooded. It is a very bad day.
What a happiness journal does is help you focus on the good note of the day. Now, for that example the good note may only be that you had the money for the gas, broke down one block from the gas station, and your partner fixed the toilet and helped you clean up.
It may even be that the only happiness is that the day is over and you can start fresh the next day. The point is to focus on that good point and work with it.
Minimize the drama and negativity around you
Drama and negativity can eat you alive emotionally. You may find that you have a hard time moving away from that. A happiness journal can help. As your happiness journaling habit grows, you will find yourself looking for more and more happiness. And, as you know, what you focus your attention on is what you get more of. You will move away from drama-ridden issues or from negative aspects of your life and towards happiness naturally.
If you think a happiness journal is for you, try starting off with simple gratitude-style entries first. Instead of writing 3 things you’re grateful for, you could write 3 things that made you happy that day. Or 3 things that made you smile. Or 3 things that made you laugh. Get the idea?
You can work your way up there to tackling the bigger questions you might have around happiness and what really makes you happy. You might even surprise yourself by finding hidden happiness in your life that you hadn’t realized was there.
What do you think? Would you start a happiness journal?