About six months ago, during a tumultuous time in California, I was shopping with my friends in Downtown LA and I stumbled across a journal.
I’m a writer, and aside from writing on my blog, I keep a personal journal, of which I’m now on my 50th. So when I come across a book with empty lines just waiting for my pen to dance her way through them, I often buy them.
I’ve come across many stylish journals in my lifetime, but this particular journal caught my eye. It was unique in the fact that it was titled, and the title was The Five Minute Journal.
I have a tendency to stay away from prompted journals, but this simple plain cover enticed me to flip through its pages and take a look within.
At the time, I was going through some rough patches with a particular boy of mine and needed something, anything , to help me through it.
It appeared as if this journal was the answer.
Basically, I answered questions within the journal once in the morning and then once at night, per the instructions. The questions were simple, but they forced me to think on the positive elements of my day. The idea was that by consistently writing in this journal everyday, I would find myself creating new habits that allowed me to reflect upon my routine from a positive perspective.
Which ultimately increases happiness.
Even though I have long since finished the journal (it doesn’t take me that long), I found that a new mental habit had been created from this diary.
And yesterday, a perfect example of this presented itself.
I was at work, training one of the new girls at the coffee shop, and I had the misfortune of experiencing one of the most brash and churlish customers. She came in with a discourteous air and proceeded to dig herself into a deeper hole of negativity despite my efforts at treating her with kindness and respect.
I had been having a good day before that, actually meeting one of the most complimentary and appreciative customers and yet when I settled in for the night, this lady’s ridiculous behavior still boiled angrily in my thoughts.
How is it that we can be having the most happy go lucky of days and yet when we think back on how the day went, we remember the one negative experience that stung us the most?
It’s like we only focus on the bad despite a lot of good actually happening. What is it about our brain that allows us to think like that?
It reminds me of a rupi kaur quote:
i hear a thousand kind words about me
and it makes no difference
yet i hear one insult
and all confidence shatters.
-focusing on the negative
The answer lies in the sentence above: focusing.
We choose to let the negativities reside in our thoughts at the end of the day and we choose to believe that they are what determine how our day went.
I know it’s easy for me to sit here and say choose to focus on the positive when in reality, it’s a lot harder to do, but in my experience, making a conscious effort each and every day to write about gratitude, affirmation, goal setting, and positive events that occurred really do start to change your perspective for the better.
Of course there will still be days ahead in which I can’t help but stew in my feelings of despair, but they won’t outweigh the fact that most of my days will be good.
Because while every day may not be a good day, there is good in every day.
With that, I start my day, and icy a lovely day ahead…