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A positivity journal is a great way to help you manage your mental health and reduce your stress levels. Learn how to start one in under 5 minutes! #positivityjournal #mentalhealth

How To Start a Positivity Journal to Improve Your Mental Health

If I had to pick one thing that has made the biggest impact on my mental health and wellbeing the choice for me is easy.  And the best thing about it is that it takes only a few minutes to do, is free (or close to free depending on how you do it) and begins working quickly.

Are you intrigued?

It’s my positivity journal!  Now I know, there are a ton of different types of journals out there.  There are guided journals, free writing journals, bullet journals, gratitude journals, smash books…and the list just goes on and on, so what the heck is a positivity journal?

Simply put, a positivity journal helps you change your mindset and to focus on positive things throughout your day. 

Stress Less with a Positivity Journal for your Mental Health

A positivity journal is a great way to help you manage your mental health and reduce your stress levels. Learn how to start one in under 5 minutes! #positivityjournal #mentalhealth

What do you need to start a positivity journal? 

To start a positivity journal you only need a few things.  First, decide if you like old fashioned pen and paper or if you do better with digital.  Even if you typically do digital, I do recommend trying out physically writing things down, but it is up to you!  If you like pen and paper, pick up a journal or a notebook. And of course, you will need a pen.  

What do you write in a positivity journal?

Once you have your set up, keep it next to your bed.  This exercise is used before bed to reflect on your day.  At night, you will make your entries. Your entries can be as long as you want.  In fact, you don’t even have to write full sentences if you want, just a few words.

One of the things that I loved when I started this was the fact that I could complete this in 2-3 minutes.  It’s pretty hard to make the excuse of not having time or falling asleep for something that takes so little time! 

What do your entries have in them? 

Each entry includes the best thing about your day and the worst part of your day.  I like to refer to them as your peak and your pit. Here is an example of what I wrote in my journal yesterday:

Peak: My husband and I were able to spend some time together after the baby went to bed.

Pit: After paying all of our bills, I’m feeling a little financially stressed.

That’s it!  Two sentences.  Well, almost. The next step is an important one, but how you do it is completely up to you.  

Step 2: Option 1 – If you are religious (not religious? Scroll for option 2)

If you are religious, you will add two more lines to your positivity journal.  A praise and a prayer line. Here is an example of my journal from yesterday again:

Peak: My husband and I were able to spend some time together after the baby went to bed.

Pit: After paying all of our bills, I’m feeling a little financially stressed.

Praise: Our move has gone smoothly!

Prayer: To meet new people and adjust to our new home & neighborhood. 

Still, you don’t have to write much.  Your praise will be something positive that has happened.  Typically this is something you were worried or anxious about that ended up being A-OK or it can just be a thank you for something you are grateful for.  The prayer thing is stress, worry or anxiety you have that you are giving to God to handle. It can also be the name of someone who you know could use a prayer.  Or pray about the pit of your day!

This layout works because you are finding the positive of your day, acknowledging the negative, praising something you are grateful for or showcasing something that may have been a worry that ended up being ok, and giving away your stresses.  It helps you to change the way you think and grow spiritually at the same time.  

Not religious?  It’s ok! Step 2: Option 2 

If you aren’t religious, don’t give up this idea!  You can tweak it to fit you too. You will add a power and pass line. 

The power line is you taking power over your pit.  What is something you can do? Is there anything you can do?  Occasionally, you are truly powerless in a situation. IF you find yourself in that predicament, your power can be that you are not going to let this pit consume you.  You have determined that there is absolutely nothing you can do.

The pass line is something you are giving up control of or feelings you are passing out. Stop holding onto resentments or expectations that are consistently falling short. You may also pass forgiveness to someone (or this is huge, yourself!)   You may pass empathy to someone as you work through understanding a pit.

Realizing that you cannot control the world is a big deal.  Realizing you don’t have to control the world is a big deal.  Letting go of things means that you don’t have to try. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about those things or the outcomes, it is just that you realize that it is not for you to carry.  There is a quote that I love: “Mountains are meant to be climbed, not carried.” Channel your inner Elsa, and let them go!

Want an example?  Here is one that I would have done for yesterday: 

Peak: My husband and I were able to spend some time together after the baby went to bed.

Pit: After paying all of our bills, I’m feeling a little financially stressed.

Power: Acknowledge our bills are paid (woo hoo), try to do a little extra work this week, wait a little while before buying holiday items

Pass: I’m upset because I wanted to have more wiggle room in the bank account, but it’s not the end of the world.  Our finances are what they are. We are all together, and we are working hard to provide a great life for our family.  I’m passing on the disappointment I carried today about being excited about starting holiday shopping because I would rather wait until next month.  I would rather wait a month or two than have financial stress. I’m passing on that stress!

This method works because you are working through your pit and keeping it positive!

Training your brain to look for the positive, point out things you are grateful for and to let go is so important for your mental health.  Like I said before, this has single handedly been one of the best things I have ever done for me! 

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