Journaling creates a space in which to focus positive attention on what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. Now that you’re aware, you can adjust your thoughts and emotional reactions at any time during the day.
Have you ever had one of those days when you’ve gotten up on the wrong side of the bed? You probably stubbed your toe on the way to the bathroom. The milk carton standing front and center in the fridge was empty because your kids couldn’t walk the 10 steps to the trash can. On the way to work you caught every red light. By the time you got to work your bad mood was already cemented so it was par for the course that your least favorite co-worker was the first person you encounter at work.
And on and on it went so it felt natural to blame it all on your bad luck, affirming the same old pattern that “I just can’t get a break,” or “Nothing ever goes right for me,” or “Life sucks”. Have you ever considered that all this “bad luck” is really the harvest of all the seeds planted by years and years of negative thoughts and the ensuing unchecked emotional reactions?
Did you know that there is always something you can do to turn your “luck” around? That you can alleviate the impact of such “bad luck”? You do this by practicing what I call planting the happy seed, which is simply journaling. The power of journaling in the morning is that you get ahead of negative thoughts by capturing them on paper instead of letting them run amuck in your head. With practice you’ll notice that halfway through the 15 minutes you’re dedicating to yourself, you’ll start getting insights into yourself and the world around you. Eventually you’ll start noticing your days are blossoming in accordance with the happy seeds you’ve been planting.
HOW DO YOU DO THIS?
Begin each day journaling for 15 minutes (maybe 30 as you adjust to adding a new habit to your routine). Your journaling consists of:
1. Setting your timer for 5 minutes.
2. Choosing a journaling prompt like: “Right now I’m thinking/feeling ______________ about ______________
3. When you press start, begin journaling whatever pops into your head.
4. Do not stop your pen to analyze, criticize or philosophize about what’s coming up. Just write it down.
5. Set your pen down when the timer goes off. Reset it for 10 minutes.
6. Use this journaling prompt to continue: “I just now realize ______________________
Probably the most crucial step in the process of planting happy seeds is to get into the habit of paying attention to the small things in your day. Delight in the unfolding of each and every day.