How to Start a Happiness Journal
You keep seeing stuff about this happiness journal thing and think, “Yea I should do that”. Then you go about your day only to put the idea of starting your journal somewhere in the back of your mind. Maybe you aren’t sure what a happiness journal is, maybe you are not sure what goes into it or it’s purpose. This is the post you need to answer your questions and get you on the road to happiness.
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What is a Happiness Journal?
A happiness journal is simply a record of the things that make you happy each day. It doesn’t have to be a physically written journal, it can be an electronic journal, a photo journal or a music journal. Your learning style will determine what type of happiness journal will suit you the best.
For me, it is a combination of photos and a physically written journal (I created this journal just for this purpose.) This works for me because I love taking pictures and I love the act of putting a pen to paper and writing something down. What works for you may be different, maybe you want to use just a photo journal, maybe a music and electronic journal. The important thing here is that you find what works for you, this will help you get into a rhythm of using it every day. Here are a few types of journals that you could try. If more than one sounds interesting to you, don’t be afraid to try and combine a few types.
- Written journal. A book of blank pages that you use a pen to write things down.
- Electronic journal. Any type of document system that you can write with. Google docs, notepad, Microsoft Word all work. This is also the easiest to combine with pictures or music.
- Photo journal. Tell your story through pictures with minimal writing. You might want to add a few captions here and there so when you review your journal you remember why you took a picture of that rock.
- Music journal. Use songs or snippets of songs to tell your happiness story. Again you might want to add a caption to the file so you remember why you saved the chorus to “Girls just wanna have fun”
Why Should I Start a Happiness Journal?
Well to make you happy of course. Happiness journals are designed to make you think about your happiness throughout the day. After doing this for a few days, you will start to pay more attention to the happier things of your day, and less attention will be focused on the not so happy things. The longer you use a happiness journal the better your results will be. As you go through your days, you will start looking for those happy moments and think “that is going in the journal tonight!”
Creating a happiness journal creates a worldview shift. A happiness journal is not going to stop bad things from happening in our lives, but it will help the way we see and deal with them. We spend plenty of time worrying about the bad things in life. A happiness journal adds balance so we spend some time looking at the good things too.
What Should I Put in My Journal?
What you put in the journal each day is up to you, but the idea is to put at least one thing per day in the journal that makes you happy. As you go throughout your day, take note of things that make you happy in one way or another. Here are a few ideas on how you can put your journal together.
- Take a picture. Each day take a picture of something that makes you happy. In the evening, print it or add it to an electronic journal with a little caption about why it made you happy.
- Try a bullet journal. For those of us who are all about the facts, a bullet journal can work great. Use 3 bullet points per day and write a short sentence or two about what made you happy that day.
- Take notes. During the day, when something makes you happy, make a little note somewhere. At the end of the day, pull all of your notes together and pick the one that made you the happiest. If you can’t decide, there are really no rules here, use more than one!
Your happiness journal is yours, you decide what goes into it and what doesn’t. The important part of a happiness journal is that you put something in it every day. Even on your worst day, you should try to find one act of kindness that someone did for you, one smile or one scene that made your mood lift ever so slightly.
Putting it All Together
A happiness journals can make you happy by shifting your focus from all of the drama and doldrums of everyday life to the smiles and the silliness of everyday life.
- Grab a journal or start a drop box file.
- Look for the things each day that make you happy
- Make a little note or a take a picture
- Review your day at the end of the day and pick one or two things to put in your journal
It really is that easy. The best part is going back and looking at each page and remembering all those little things that made you happy.