A year or so ago, every time I read a blog or scrolled through Instagram I would see someone talking about gratitude journaling. I wasn’t quite sure what this new “fad” (or so I thought at the time) was all about and definitely didn’t think I was someone that needed to try it.
For some reason though, it kept popping up in my life and I became intrigued. As I was diving into research about entrepreneurship, I noticed a trend. People like Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins and Oprah were all talking about how important this practice was in their lives. These were all people I respected and admired, so I decided to let go of my ego and give it a shot. I went on Amazon and bought a “gratitude journal”. Once the journal arrived I realized it was just a regular old journal with some nice quotes inside. I tried to start journaling every morning but it was time consuming and I wasn’t really sure how to do the whole “gratitude journaling” part, so I quickly gave up.
A few weeks later, I was at a coffee shop in Bali and I ran into a friend who was journaling over her cappuccino. We chatted a bit and she told me she had started using “The Five-Minute Journal” a few months prior and was loving it.
When I got home, I looked it up and loved the simplicity and the lay out. The journal is set up so you spend 5 minutes or less everyday writing and there are prompts to make it simple for you. Essentially, each morning you write down 3 things you are grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great, and a daily affirmation. Before bed you write 3 amazing things that happened during that day and a way you could have made the day better.
The most magnificent thing to me was reading about the science behind this practice. When you start your day with gratitude, the world around you shifts and you see the beauty in things. Amazing opportunities fall into your lap and everything feels a bit more bright and effortless.
On the contrary, if you've ever heard the saying "misery seeks misery" our thoughts and energy work in much the same way. If you start your day feeling sorry for yourself, down, or grumpy, that's the energy that you'll end up carrying throughout your day and that will be attracted back to you.
“In about five minutes per day, you can establish a positive pattern of thinking and acting when it really matters. It’s the ideal time window that allows for minimal effort and a wild reward”.
I want to break down exactly how each section works and why it is important. Let’s start with the 3 sections of the morning routine:
- The warm bed I sleep in.
- My body that is working in perfect harmony.
- The true and genuine friends in my life.
A tip the journal gives you is to try writing things you are grateful for that you might not have yet. If you are looking to be in a healthy relationship, you may write... I am grateful to be in a loving, healthy relationship with a partner of my dreams.
“A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough found that keeping a daily gratitude journal leads to better sleep, reductions of physical pain, a greater sense of well-being, and a better ability to handle change”.
- What would make today great?
After writing 3 things you are grateful for, you are prompted to write 3 things that would make the day great. I could explain this section in my own words but the journal explains it so well I am just going to quote it:
This is an example of what this section might look like:
- Daily Affirmation
The last prompt in your journal will be for you to write a daily affirmation of yourself. This is a simple statement that primes you as you want to be. With consistency, you begin to create that change from within. Here is an example of a daily affirmation:
“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” – Muhammad Ali
Let’s move onto the night routine. Before bed you reflect on 3 amazing things that happened that day and one way you could have made the day better.
The journal explains the science behind focusing on gratitude before you sleep. But simply, “You will find that The Five-Minute Journal instantly helps you shift your focus on the positive and short-circuits negative thought loops. No matter how your day was, you will sleep a bit better than you would have otherwise. Simple.”
Here’s another great example the journal gives:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I thought gratitude journaling was a “fad” but this is simply one of the oldest strategies to happiness. By spending a few minutes a day focusing on gratitude you attract the energy you want more of in your life.
You may be thinking, that’s great for you but I don’t need this. Even if you are the happiest person on this earth, this practice is STILL for you. Everyone has hard days and difficult situations that arise in life and this practice helps bring you back to what is important. Focusing on what is beautiful and good in your life can only bring more things that are beautiful and good. Who doesn’t have 5 minutes a day to improve their life? I have no personal gain in recommending this journal except for my hope that it helps enhance your life and much as it did mine.
I can honestly say that this journal has allowed me to look at the world through a different lens. It has given me confidence and peace in my everyday life. The journal states that this is simplest, most effective thing you can do every day to be happier, and I could not agree more.
Learn more about the journal HERE!