How can writing stuff down, keeping a journal or a diary of random positive, negative and memorable occurrences have any sort of impact on your life? What is the point? You might think you haven’t got the time, the energy or the inclination to do it or it all sounds a bit woowoo when going to bed and getting some real sleep is far more appealing! We all have good and bad to deal with every day – how we process, record or reflect on each and every activity is our choice.
Write it Down
Each of us has 86400 seconds, 1440 minutes or 24 hours per day and how you choose to use them is your choice, in the same way how you choose to reflect on or remember them is also your choice. There will always be times when you have a combination of good and bad stuff taking place and that can have a real impact on your mood and outlook – especially when it feels like it’s always constantly happening to you. Come the end of the day, do you reflect on all these little frustrations?
It might be consciously or even subconsciously but the chances are that you replay the negative rubbish over again in your mind. Why not reframe and focus on the good stuff? It could be something as simple as the most positive sound in the world – a baby’s giggle – it is nigh on impossible not to smile when you hear a baby’s giggle – you’re probably smiling right now, certainly on the inside.
I have written about gratitude journals before however that is just one method that you can use. There are four you could consider and potentially more that you may choose that work for you. Which versions do you use and how can you use these to help your focus, success and enjoyment?
Going to bed feeling gratitude for something or many things that have taken place on that day rather than focussing on the rubbish that has gone wrong, the unspoken challenges or worse still the arguments left hanging. Simple gratitude for what was good – not forgetting health, wealth and wisdom. The focus is on your positive feelings and emotions caused by the events during the day. A subtle but very important difference – this means you focus on all that makes you feel good rather than things that just happen all around you.
This is where you reflect on all the things you have done or felt during the day, it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. Generally the idea of a dear diary brings in images of a teenage diary with a padlock on it that the elder sister wants to break into and learn all your intimate stories and truths – that can be the case if that’s what works for you – but it doesnt have to be that way. Some of the innermost thoughts of people are contained in diaries and reading them can be hugely enlightening. After my mother passed I learnt so much more about the challenges and difficulties she had with her paralysis that she never really spoke openly about. It was her history and a privilege to read.
Positives – Two different versions here:
Positives Diary – It can be as simple as just one word every day – don’t over complicate it. Several years ago when my wife lost her mother to cancer she completed a diary and in it she wrote one positive memory per day for the year after her mum’s passing. On the anniversary of her death she had 365 positive memories to look back on at a sad time.
Positive Picture – I personally prefer taking a daily picture that makes you smile – using my phone and snapping away. The dog that has a moustache like Poirot, the way the icicle looks like a face or the strange shape of the dog poo on the footpath! Life can be hard and difficult but everywhere around us there are pictures to be taken and positive memories created and stored.
This it is the one I have tried to do and want to do more of because it’s fun and puts a smile on your face several times a day every day. Note down 2-3 things on a daily basis that made you laugh out loud – not an internal chuckle but a proper audible laugh. Some days you may find this hard as there is so much going on with little laughter, let alone out loud. Try looking harder – the funny emoji, the comments made by a child, the Homer Simpson moment spoken by a colleague, the TV show that just gets you. The list is huge and by putting it on your radar to look for and note the funny moments in your life you will notice laughter more and because of that you will laugh more.
By simply focussing more on your daily experiences in your life you will find more and more things to reflect on that are great. Just make a note of them. Subconsciously you will start focusing on the positive all around you. Yes there will be times when it’s harder to do so and that’s where your support team come into play. It’s not just about sharing doom and gloom and problems, your network will appreciate sharing the funny stories as well. Who knows, maybe your life could be turned into a blockbuster movie in the future or a comedy sketch?!.