I started journaling after I watched a Ted Talk that advocated it as a great way to change your mood (link in this post about my favorite ted talks) and fell in love. So much so that I wrote a post about how to work towards being happier in 21 days using journaling as main way of focusing on the positives.
I had worked this into my morning routine and loved sipping my coffee while writing. But mornings got shorter and priorities changed, days quickly slipped away without getting to enjoy this moment.
I honestly saw a difference in how I was acting and behaving. I was focusing on the negatives, coming home in poor moods, and just complaining all the time. Even Matt brought it up to me one day when it seems like all I had done was whine after work.
I decided it was time to come back to journaling, and I’ve made it a priority every morning to spend about 5 minutes and journal. I’ve already seen a better change in my mood and positivity.
There’s so many reasons I love journaling, I get to spend a few moments thinking about things that I’m grateful for and think about the day before and what was positive in it.
I get to reflect on my life, and even on the bad days, there is always something to be grateful for, but sometimes it’s hard to see that through a negative lens. No matter how bad the day is though, I can always find at least three things to be grateful for and one positive thing that happened to me the day before.
I also focus during the day on the positives, they’re so much more obvious when you’re looking out for them to write about later. I spend the day looking for positive things to write about tomorrow and they stand out a bit more in my mind.
I also get to spend “me-time” before the hectic day begins. After I journal I try and spend time every morning getting a couple of things crossed off my to-do list, get ready, drive to work, focus on what I need to accomplish, drive home, make dinner, clean, work on that to-do list more, then finally relax. It can get really hectic, I’m sure just as your days are too, and starting the day off write (ha!) can help me start the day off on the right foot as I’m about to get down to business.
I highly suggest that you journal, and find a way/template that is easy for you and will help you consistently set time aside. Don’t try and plan a schedule that needs 45 minutes to write when you usually only have 5. I’ve made a structure for how I journal so I’m not sitting and thinking for how I want to start for too long and eventually get distracted. Here’s my method below which I recommend, but stick with what works best with you.
I usually start out with three things that I’m grateful for, I write them out in my little polka dot journal in full sentences, to really get the full feeling of what I’m grateful for as I’m putting the words on the page. For example, “family” doesn’t sound as powerful or emotional as “I am grateful for my family.”
I try and think of three things that I’m grateful for that related to my day yesterday, but on the days that I really struggled to see the positive it can be hard. Those days, I usually write three things that I’m overall grateful for: my safety, our house, a consistent job. Nothing puts a bad day in perspective like when you realize you still have so much good in your life.
After writing the things I’m grateful for, I write one positive story that happened yesterday. From having a fun night with Matt to being praised at work, it really depends on the day and what happened. I love spending a moment and thinking about the best part of the day before, it makes me realize how wonderful some little moments are that usually go unnoticed.
Just give it a try! Start one morning and spend a minute following the template I use or something that feels right with you. But. Just. Start.
Give it a try for a week and see if you see a different in your perspective. I hope that you will see a positive change like I saw in my life, I’m so grateful for the chance to reflect on the good in my life.
Think you’re going to give it a try?! Let me know below if you want to give it a try or already do!