We always make gratitude lists. What about adding a happy list too?
Instead of making your daily gratitude list, what if we switch it up one day and make a daily happy list?
Sure, these are similar, but gratitude tends to focus on the positive aspects of things that have already happened, whereas happiness can be more forward-looking, which helps you to identify the things that you want to bring more of into your life.
Happiness is a more subjective experience. It differs from person to person. What brings joy to my life may be significantly different than the next person. I love to cook. Spending time in the kitchen makes me happy! If you hate to cook, it will just bring you down.
By identifying the things that make you happy, you can gain a better understanding of your unique values and make choices that align with your personal happiness.
Here are some tips on how to journal a daily happy list:
- Set aside a specific time each day for journaling and start by jotting down the date. The date may end up being an important point for you down the road
- Write down at least 5 things that make you happy. These can be big or small things. It can be as simple as delicious food to as big as a new and challenging career move
- Be super specific in your descriptions as this will increase the happiness factor (aka happiness emotions)
- Reflect on why these things made you happy. Same as above — the reflection will help to increase happiness emotions, then…
- Take time to savor those positive emotions associated with each item on your happy list. This can help reinforce positive neural pathways in your brain and promote an overall sense of well-being
- End with a positive affirmation or intention for the day (or the next day if you are doing this before bed)
The goal of a daily happy list is to cultivate a positive mindset and focus on the things that bring you joy. So have fun with it, be creative, and most of all, enjoy the process!