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There seems to be a natural desire to start fresh in the New Year. Whether it’s getting organized, bettering your health, or pursuing a new career, there’s an invigorating sense of possibility when the calendar starts anew. Researchers say roughly 60 percent of us will make a New Year’s resolution, but only about 8 percent will accomplish our goal. In the pursuit of happiness, why not take advantage of the upcoming January 1 start line and invest in an activity that requires minimal time but offers an abundance of benefits?

Writing in a Joy Journal can take less than five minutes each day, but science says that time couldn’t be spent in any better way. In fact, expressing your gratitude in a written way has been proven to increase resilience, boost self-esteem, improve physical health and sleep, and increase happiness.

Why Keep Joy Journal

If it’s easier for you to recall the details of bad memories much more readily than the good memories you’ve made, you’re not alone. Research says our brains are wired to recall bad memories in more detail than happy or more neutral ones. All the more reason to write down the moments that bring joy to your life. To combat the science that ties us to negative thoughts, grab a pen and beautifully bound journal each day to jot down the small events, words, or people who brought you joy.

We remember what we write. By writing in a joy journal each day, you create positive memories that will stick with you, even through life’s adversities. Those great moments are embedded into our memories, and who couldn’t use a few more of those?

How To Keep Joy Journal

The beauty of keeping a joy journal is that you train your brain to search for the positive experiences in each day. As you’re commuting to work, sitting in a meeting, making a phone call, or ordering take-out, you find the beauty in small, daily occurrences that would otherwise be rushed through without thought. At the end of the day, you know you’ll sit down and take three or four minutes to write out the happenings that made your day worthwhile, so, subconsciously you’re always on the hunt for a moment to write about. Inherently, you’ll begin to see the best in each situation and person.

Harvard Health says keeping a journal filled with moments for which you’re most grateful can make you measurably happier in just 10 weeks.  Another scholarly study concluded that grateful people are roughly 25 percent happier than others.

Once you’ve identified the four or five moments or people that made your day joyous, it’s time to create your journal entry. Briefly describe the event and explain how it made you feel to be a part of, or witness, the moment. Don’t overthink it! Maybe the thing that brought you the most joy for the day was a hot vanilla latte – write it down. The little girl in the back of a sedan who randomly waved as you sat at a red light, write it. It all counts. The most enjoyable moments in life may not be presented in a way we expect, so start looking for the small moments of joy in your life and write them in your journal.

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