During the darkest periods of my life, my mother in law suggested I see a psychiatrist because maybe I needed some “help”. True enough; the doctor said I was on the borderline of deep depression. The situation I was in was still manageable and one of the things she recommended was that I keep a journal. All I needed to do was write down all the positive things that happened to me during the day. It seemed like a tough job with all the mundane things I had to take care of like work and the kids. But she explained that keeping a journal helps a lot because it allows you to let out all the pent up emotions you are keeping inside. Not only that, when you are having those “slump” days, you can flip through the journal and look back on those days that made you really .

happiness journal
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Now you don’t have to see a psychiatrist like I did not unless this depression is really getting in the way of you living a normal life. You will find that keeping a journal not only makes you happy but reminds you of some “feel good” and “not so good” memories that doesn’t even equal to the pictures you post on Instagram.

Here are some benefits you get from :

  1. It lowers your stress levels.
  2. At the end of the day after writing what you feel, you will feel calmer.
  3. You gain a better perspective of the important things in life and you have a better appreciation for everything that has happened to you.
  4. By noting down the things you are thankful for, you have a clearer picture of what you want in life and the things you would like to cut out of your life.
  5. It helps you keep a focus on the things that really matters.
  6. You learn more about whom you really are and you become more aware of yourself.
  7. Your is your ‘safe zone’ meaning it’s very private and only for your eyes. So you could write everything down without being judged.
  8. On those days when you are melancholic, read back your journal so you can make some changes in your attitude. You will be reminded that you are surrounded by great things and people who are important in your life.

You don’t have to be a professional blogger to maintain a Happiness journal. In fact, grammatical errors will not even matter because it’s just you who should be reading it. If it’s the first time you will be keeping a journal, here are some tips on how to get started.

  • Start by writing your journal for just 15 minutes every night just before you go to sleep. You can keep a little notebook (if you like handwriting things) or keep a private folder in your computer. You could set a fixed time on your clock or smartphone that will give you an alarm as a reminder.
  • Keep the little notebook by your nightstand so you will be reminded to write before going to sleep.  Some devices like the iPad has apps like a small diary where you can write short messages if that works for you.  Whatever forms your journal appears; it will become your symbol of gratitude.  Whenever you look at it, you feel the sense of appreciation.
  • If you can’t write everything you are grateful for within the day in a paragraph form, you can write it down in numbers.  List at least 5 of the good things that happened to you that day.
  • Your happiness journal does not have to sound too profound. Just write what comes to mind and what you want to be thankful for.  It could be as simple as what you had for breakfast or a good book you read that really made a good impression. The things you are thankful for is definitely different from everyone else.
  • It is really up to you when you want to write on your Happiness Journal. You can write everyday or every other day. Just do what you feel is right for you and what you are comfortable with until it becomes a good habit.
  • You can be creative. Since it’s your journal you can pretty much do whatever you like. You can put pictures of those fun moments you really want to remember. Or even a receipt of that yummy frappe you bought in Starbucks.